A Houston mother who lost her job at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic struggled when she saw a gruesome eviction notice on her door that contained a large smiling emoji waving goodbye.
After receiving negative media, the CEO of the property management company now apologizes for the heartless behavior.
Sonja Lee, 33, told PEOPLE that the economic downturn left her three months on her rent. She applied for a job and kept in touch with the property manager about her situation. Things finally turned when she got a job slated to start on Monday (August 24th).
However, the caretaker published the eviction notice on August 17th, which moved her to tears.
"I was overwhelmed because I honestly felt like I was in a big hole and couldn't get out because I was so set back," she said. "So it's like I'm a single mother with two boys. I do my best and I'm a very hardworking woman."
The insensitivity of the notice was particularly exaggerated:
"Guess who is moving? You !!! Pay the remaining amount or release your apartment and hand in your keys to the leasing office by 6:00 pm today. The eviction will be submitted immediately on Tuesday morning, 08/18/2020. "
Several local media outlets shared Lee's story, which apparently was the motive for the apology she received.
"Buck stops with me, so I apologize personally," said Swapnil Agarwal, CEO of Karya Property Management, according to ABC News subsidiary KTRK-TV.
RELATED: Coronavirus, which has already hit African Americans hardest, also eliminated black job gain
Lee started a GoFundMe campaign. "With these donations I plan to bring my boys into a house that they never had. There are (sic) rooms of their own that have solid foundation stability and growth !!" Stand on the side.
On Sunday evening (August 23), the campaign raised nearly $ 36,000.