- Marjy Stagmeier was an 11-year-old Monopoly champion who wanted to be a landlord.
- She became a compassionate landlord after college and found out that aside from affordable rents, low-income renters need after-school programs.
- The epidemic saw the greater need for an eviction relief fund which she started.
Being a Monopoly champion at 11 years old made Marjy Stagmeier want to be a landlord. After college at the Georgia State University, she started working on the dream by investing in old apartment communities that renter families can afford.
Upon learning that after-school programs and playgrounds were needed in these communities, she launched a 501c3 nonprofit that provided free onsite social services.
Children who went through their after-school programs have already become wage earners from being school teachers, plumbers, or doctors.
Stagmeier said, “Almost 100 families have elevated from renting to home ownership because we kept rents low so families can save their money.”
But what inspired her to provide rental assistance through an informal resource network was an unplanned meeting with Bill and Melinda Gates and Mathew Desmond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted in 2017.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic made this need even greater as her renters either lost their jobs, were laid-off, furloughed, or stuck at home with multiple children.
To answer the need, she launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 for eviction relief. The response was immediate — nearly $50,000 was raised quickly.
When the local municipal government of Cobb County learned about Star-C Eviction Relief Fund, they donated $1.5 million of their federal stimulus funding! It snowballed to other municipalities which have now pooled over $9 million. This enabled 3,000 families from avoiding eviction.
Rental assistance and courtroom partnership were also offered by Cobb County Chief Magistrate Brendan Murphy and Fulton County Chief Magistrate Cassandra Kirk.
Star-C now has partnered with more than 330 landlords representing 65,000 apartment units.
Stagmeier says that the eviction relief fund works for those landlords who give affordable rents for low-income families and assists them with their applications.
With the pandemic, it is not only the renters but also the landlords that are struggling. Thanks to the Star-C program, eviction issues are managed. And with the $4.1 million federal relief package for 2021, more people will be given assistance.
Stagmeier ended, “If tenants and their children are stable in their community, it is a win-win for everyone, including the tenant, child, landlord, and local school.”
Her journey from being a Monopoly champion to a compassionate landlord has truly been rewarding.
Source: Good News Network