That’s what happened to the ACLU’s Norristown plaintiff, Lakisha Briggs, who says her landlord didn’t want to evict her, but told her that he had no choice—the city would fine him $1,000 a day if she stayed. Briggs told NPR that she didn’t even make the final 911 call that put her on the street. She’d been determined not to call again, knowing that she was at risk of hitting her limit. Her abusive boyfriend even used the ordinance against her.
“After he found out that I was on my last and final strike, he kind of just like moved into my house,” she told NPR. It was “a really messed up situation,” she said. She wondered, “At this point, what do I do?”
One night, during a fight, Briggs’ boyfriend slit her neck with a broken ashtray, and she lost consciousness, awaking in a pool of her own blood.
“The first thing in my mind is, ‘Let me get out of this house’” before a neighbor called 911, she said. “I’d rather them find me on the street than find me at my house like this, because I’m going to get put out if the cops come here.”
She made it out the door, where an observer must have dialed for help, because the police arrived, and she was airlifted to the hospital. She learned a few days later that, as she had feared, she would pay for that assistance with her home.”