Donor helps local veteran being evicted from apartment due to rent hike

BOSTON — Update: On Monday, we first told you about Frank Sharpe, a Vietnam veteran who was being evicted from his home with no fault of his own. Since our coverage, this story has made it to the governor’s desk. Now some good news to report, a judge granted the 71-year-old an extension and will allow him to stay in his apartment until May. Initially, he was being evicted by the end of next week.

Sharpe tells us, he’s up to date on rent and has been paying the $800 a month, but he can’t afford the rent increase that’s now double at $1,600 a month.

Earlier this week...

“With this pandemic going on, it’s going to be really rough on me. I’m just recovering from a stroke” said, Sharpe.

Boston 25 news reporter Malini Basu has been keeping in touch with Sharpe, he tells her he feels like a huge burden was lifted off of his shoulders for now. He thanks everyone for their continued support.

Previous story from Boston 25:

Boston 25 News first told you about a Vietnam War veteran on Monday who is being evicted from his apartment. About 24 hours later, an anonymous donor reached out to Boston 25 News reporter Malini Basu saying that they will help the veteran cover two months’ worth of rent.

The governor’s office is working on helping the veteran as well. There were many others who reached out on social media wanting to help. That veteran’s apartment was filled with moving boxes on Tuesday night. His biggest fear, he said, is that he will be out on the streets in the cold, homeless.

“I’m being evicted,” veteran Frank Sharpe said.

At 71 years old, Sharpe said he is feeling scared, alone and with nowhere to go.

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On Monday night, Basu met the veteran in Dorchester at an eviction rally with dozens of others. They said they’re paying the rent but can’t afford the rent hike.

“With this pandemic going on, it’s going to be really rough on me. I’m just recovering from a stroke,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe added that he was the former owner of the Dorchester apartment and lost the house to a short sale. He said he’s up to date on rent and has been paying the $800 per month, but he can’t afford the rent increase that’s now double at $1600 per month.

“I need some help right now. I’m being pushed out on the street during the winter,” Sharpe said.

On Twitter, one viewer said, “This is just so wrong! we owe him so much more.” Another follower added, “as a vet, I’d never forgive myself if I ever let something like this happen to an elderly Vietnam vet.”

“I’m trying to fulfill my life the best way I can,” Sharpe said.

As he stood there inside his apartment filled with boxes, Sharpe was in tears.

“I have nowhere to go,” Sharpe said.

Boston 25 News reached out to the landlord twice; both times that person hung up on our reporter. The good news on Tuesday though is that someone reached out to our reporter privately on Twitter and said they will help cover Sharpe’s next two months of rent.

This story has caught the attention of the governor’s office. They are working with Sharpe to help find him a home. If you would like to help Sharpe, he has set up a GoFundMe account here.