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Millions of Americans face homelessness when eviction moratorium lifts

Adriana Diaz

The future is uncertain for more than 12 million households. A moratorium on evictions from federally-assisted properties expires on Saturday, sparking a real problem during the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly a third of American households missed housing payments at the start of July.

A convention center in Columbus, Ohio, is open despite the virus outbreak. Instead of vendors at tables, lawyers are offering free legal help for people facing eviction.

Daniata Morgan is one of thousands facing eviction. She has two kids and stopped working during the COVID-19 outbreak, worried her Crohn's disease puts her at risk.

"I feel sad. I'm about to cry right now, it sucks," she told CBS News. "We most likely will get evicted."

Ohio is one of 28 states that does not have a statewide ban on evictions during the pandemic.

Morgan was one of the lucky ones who was granted rent relief.

As many as 28 million Americans could be evicted in the coming months, according to data from Eviction Lab. About 1 million were evicted each year following the 2008 recession.

In Miami, a mother of three called CBS News while she searched for a job. "Trying to figure everything out for, you know, for my kids' sake," the woman said, who did not want to be identified.

She was evicted in May after the restaurant where she was a waitress shutdown. Now she's at a motel. Her kids are staying with a babysitter.

"At night it really hits me, like when I can't even tuck my kids into bed," she explained. "It gets very emotional. And it's very sad."

Minorities are at greater risk for eviction — a group being especially hard hit by the virus itself. The mother CBS News spoke to said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I feel like I'm getting hit from left to right," she said. "With everything going on with my situation is like, what's next?"

There are likely others taking the same risk, with America caught between a health crisis and an economic one.