After rent help, Venice woman hopes to start anew

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Preventing Homelessness, Season of Sharing, Response and Recovery,

Suzi Kotler-Neidorff always has seemed to make it work. But she does not call it coincidence or luck. She’d rather call it synchronicity. She is a firm believer in the idea that things happen for a meaningful reason.

Fresh out of dog-grooming school at 23, she moved to Los Angeles on a whim. Years later, she moved back to her home state of New York and raised her two children as a single mother while juggling three jobs. She’s also lived in Maryland working as a caregiver and was laid off long before the coronavirus was an everyday part of life.

So, when Kotler-Neidorff, 66, said she “just ended up” here on the west coast of Florida, it was by chance, and she figured things would fall into place the way they had always seemed to in life.

That was September of 2019 when she stayed in an Airbnb with her three animals. After being laid off from her caregiving work in Maryland, Kotler-Neidorff had her $333 a week in Maryland’s unemployment benefits and her $1,000 Social Security monthly check to live on.

“[We] just kind of ended up here,” she said of her brood, which includes Chico, a chihuahua with challenges. “I was feeling my way around, seeing where I fit in.”

Again, things seemed to fall into place when Kotler-Neidorff found a roommate – the Jane Fonda to her Lily Tomlin. The two moved into an apartment in South Venice. This was almost exactly a year ago, at a time before the pandemic would change everything.

Kotler-Neidorff found a job pet sitting. The pandemic hit, and customers began canceling. Soon, she was without work.

Read the full story in the Herald-Tribune