Thanks to donations received through our Housing Mediation project, Center for Conflict Resolution volunteers are able to mediate cases like the one described below:
David had been living with his grandfather, Elijah, since he was 18. Over the last 5 years their relationship had become strained and, after many fights and threats, Elijah had filed a case in eviction court to get David to move out of the house. The parties arrived at court and had a chance to meet with a mediator from CCR before seeing the judge.
During the mediation both men talked about how hard it was to live in the house together. Elijah thought that his grandson was irresponsible, that he was doing drugs, and that he was making poor decisions in his life. David was insulted by Elijah’s accusations and insisted that he had only experimented with drugs a little and that he was an adult. David made it clear that although he might not be making the best decisions, he was entitled to make decisions for himself.
It was clear to the mediator that the conversation between the men was not a new one. David and Elijah said they’d been having this fight, on and off, for most of the last 3 years. In fact, a similar conflict between David and his mother is what resulted in him living with his grandfather in the first place. Through conversation, the mediator helped the parties determine what was most important to them. They both agreed that the living arrangement could not continue and that they needed a change. David said that he was willing to move out of the house, but needed time to save some money and make a plan. Elijah said he was in no rush to move David out of the house, but that he wanted a firm date set.
In addition to helping the parties develop their basic plan for David to move out, the mediator facilitated a conversation about the living arrangement and about their relationship. David was very hurt to have been sued by his grandfather and feared that the court case would have an impact on his credit. Elijah expressed his regret about filing the court case, but said that he had felt desperate to find a resolution, noting that his previous conversations with David had not yielded any results.
At the end of the mediation the parties had a plan in place that included a move-out date for David as well as details about how the two would interact in the time they still lived together. Due to mediation, the parties were able to avoid court and leave together.