It's difficult to navigate the Rochester housing market. It's even harder if you're a felon
Kathleen Krull estimates she's called around 100 property managers, landlords and other resources trying to get help. She was able to secure housing through her own grit, but barriers remain high.
ROCHESTER — Kathleen Krull was once a registered nurse before she got in trouble for several nonviolent felony crimes involving things like drugs and theft.
Following her convictions, she has started to put her life back together. While she's following what the courts have asked of her and is staying sober, she's been confronted with many difficulties due to her convictions.
The Post Bulletin spoke with Krull about her difficulty finding housing and asked her what she wants our readers to know.
Could you give some background about how you ended up looking for a place to live in Rochester as a nonviolent felon?
I decided to look for a place in Rochester since I would be going to school here, I knew my way around and several of my very good friends live here, and I wanted to move from Red Wing as I no longer felt protected or safe there.
What hurdles did you face trying to secure housing?
There are many companies in Rochester that own several properties in the area. Many of the large companies in this area do not rent to anyone with a felony charge in the recent past or any kind of credit issue. There are expensive fees associated with even applying for a place. There’s the app fee, which runs $25-$50, and then an admin fees which can run up to $250. The admin fee can be refunded. I asked ahead of time before applying and wasting the money to be turned down. There were several people I called that didn’t call back, even after I tried two or three times. There is an outdated “felon friendly” list that was not of much help, and all the resources I was told to try and didn't really offer any new ideas or further resources. I did get help from people after I posted on social media. I ended up finding a place on my own after about two weeks of looking.
What are your plans for the future?
To go to school and get a job in my new career and stay on the path that I’m on and make better decisions about what I do with my life. Planning on renting for a couple years then buying a townhome or condo in the area.
What would you like our readers to know about you and what you've experienced?
I would like the readers to know that committing any crime has a high price, but there is nothing to prepare you for having a felony record. It will be with you for the rest of your life and it affects many aspects of your life. You can no longer vote, you can’t own or have any kind of weapon. As a newly convicted felon, I have experienced significant issues with renting a place to live and getting a job. Crime isn’t worth the consequences it brings with it.
Asked & Answered is a weekly question-and-answer column featuring people of southeastern Minnesota. Is there somebody you'd like to see featured? Send suggestions to email@example.com .