This month we met with Debbie, who just moved into an apartment last month in Sisters, after struggling to find housing for 2+ years. She has already started a part time job, and she says, “this is just the beginning”.
Debbie was involved in a traumatic accident about 10 years ago that left her with a disability, depression and PTSD. After the accident she found it difficult to understand how she survived such a crash, and wondered how she would ever be the same. Friends and family wanted her to be grateful and move on, but it wasn’t that simple.
After her recovery she was doing well: she was able to receive Social Security for her disability, and rented a home that was affordable for her. A couple of years ago, after renting for 7 years, her landlord decided to sell the home and gave her 30 days to move out. With nowhere to go and rental costs out of her reach, she moved into her elderly mother’s apartment in La Pine. The past two years were very difficult for Debbie. She spent a lot of time in her car, she says, just to have space for herself, and struggled to understand why this was happening to her.
This year, when Debbie was selected for a Housing Choice Voucher through Housing Works- she was both ecstatic to receive it, and wary of the 120 day time limit. When she met with Housing Works, she saw the flyer for Thrive in her welcome packet and called right away. Debbie was connected with Johannah, and they got right to it looking for housing options that would fit into the voucher requirements.
Amazingly, Debbie and Johannah were able to find a rental in Sisters quickly. Johannah found the listing, Debbie reached out immediately, and before they knew it- Debbie was signing a lease! Johannah also connected Debbie with Furnish Hope to assist with furnishings for the apartment, and Megan at FH was ready to help.
When Debbie describes her work with Thrive, she says,
“You made me feel a lot better and I guess that’s why I called you so much, because I needed that reassurance. And what was so amazing was when you said, “We are going to get through this together, we are a team”. When you said that it made my heart feel better and it made me feel stronger. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought there was any place like Thrive!”
Debbie has a couple of dreams for others out there that are struggling in some way in their lives:
She wants you to know that help out there. You do have to reach out and you do have to want it. And when you meet someone who can help- do your part!
She wishes the Housing Choice Voucher program would have a longer time frame to find a rental. Right now the program gives recipients 120 days to sign a lease, and Debbie feels that time limitation puts a real stress on the person and she thinks they should extend it. If she lost her voucher, “where would I be?” she says.