Brittany Baich, with her 5-year-old son Zayden outside their South Bend home, is grateful for federal aid that helped cover past due rent and utility payments. South Bend Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN
Brittany Baich, with her 5-year-old son Zayden outside their South Bend home, is grateful for federal aid that helped cover past due rent and utility payments. South Bend Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN
In April, near the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Brittany Baich found herself jobless and unable to pay rent on the South Bend home she shares with her 5-year-old son, Zayden.

After discovering that Zayden’s day care provider hadn’t been helping him log into his virtual learning, Baich removed him so she could help him at home. She says her employer asked her to bring him to work with her, but she refused, fearing he would be exposed to the virus.

The 31-year-old South Bend woman said the company fired her but told the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that she had quit, leaving her ineligible for unemployment benefits, a decision she is appealing.

Baich is now caught up on her rent and utilities, thanks to about $3,800 in federal money that the city of South Bend received and distributed through St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County.

“I just started bawling,” Baich said. “I said, ‘You don’t understand how much this means to me.’ I thought I was going to lose the house my son grew up in. We literally would have lost all of our stuff in our house, which is replaceable, but we would have been living in our car.”
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