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  • Nora

Compassion Trumps Language: How Having a Heart Removes Language Barriers

Updated: Mar 7

It can be challenging to navigate mediation cases in our virtual world, even more so when the parties don’t share a common language. Sometimes it seems that landlords and tenants don’t speak the same language–take that up a notch, or ten, when one of the parties does not speak English! Alison, one of our Mediation Resource Navigators (MRN) was recently supporting a tenant whose primary language was Swahili. The tenant communicated through an interpreter that he, his wife, and his family were very worried about the possibility of eviction. With the interpreter on the premeditation call, Alison was able to connect with the tenant before the mediation to screen for resources. She made sure everything was super clear and the tenant was prepared for a successful mediation. 


Alison did not have to be on the mediation call, but she chose to join anyway to provide her client with additional support. Alison was a total pro in navigating all the complexities that could arise on a mediation call with multiple parties AND using an interpreter. This could have been a recipe for miscommunication, frustration, and many crossed wires for a family who was already in a traumatic situation! Alison’s calm presence and expert guidance was reassuring. The mediation reached an agreement and the tenant thanked them for helping to end his sleepless nights of worry. 


We all know that facing a potential eviction is a scary and confusing . Having a language barrier can induce even more anxiety. Thankfully, in our collaboration with ACTION-Housing, RentHelp Navigators have access to the translation services provided by Global Wordsmith. When you work with one of our Mediation Resource Navigators like Alison, you can rest assure that any language barrier fears will be put at ease. Not only will Navigators go above and beyond to handle your case, as demonstrated by Alison, but you will also be treated with compassion, understanding, and grace! We are super lucky to have Alison on our RentHelp team!


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