This month we spoke with long-time clients Beverley Brooks and Glenn Teeple about their housing journey in Central Oregon. Glenn is a lifetime resident of Central Oregon and Bev has lived in Central Oregon for over 15 years. Bev and Glenn have grown a huge social support network throughout their time living in Central Oregon and have become important members of the community. In their free time, you can find Bev crocheting and Glenn spending time outside. You can see some of Bev’s many creations pictured here.
When Bev and Glenn first reached out to Thrive a few years ago, they were living in a 5th wheel in Prineville. They didn’t have any water, so they had to boil it on the stove every day. Bev and Glenn did not want to keep living the way they were, so they decided to reach out to Thrive after hearing about them at their church in Prineville.
They went to the Thrive drop-in at the library and started by getting on the Housing Choice Voucher list when it opened. They were later selected for a voucher but had a hard time finding a rental they could use it at because of several barriers. After appealing several places, they finally found an apartment to rent in Bend.
Unfortunately, after only a year in their apartment, their rent began increasing dramatically, so they decided it was time to find another place. They, again, reached out to Thrive for support in finding a new place to live. When applying to places the second time, they found that their barriers, such as credit and criminal history, were still making it hard for them to get approved. After months of gathering support letters and working towards building their credit, they were finally approved for an affordable property in Redmond. They are so happy to be in their new place and found that it paid off to be patient and persistent.
Bev and Glenn are a great example of many voucher holders’ experience with finding housing in Central Oregon. Although the voucher is an amazing resource for individuals, many people struggle to find a rental to use their voucher at because of many barriers to housing. The housing market isn’t forgiving and tries to keep many people in the cycle of poverty by not allowing them a safe place to live. Although it can be discouraging, Bev wants to remind people to never give up. No matter how many times they were denied, Bev and Glenn never gave up and now they are in a home they can see themselves living in for a long time.
Bev would encourage anyone who is in a similar situation to her to reach out to Thrive for help. She and Glenn are very grateful for all of the support Thrive has given them throughout their journey. Thrive was able to help them with a range of things such as filling out paperwork, working on their credit, and advocating for them at different properties. Bev would encourage people to ask for help from Thrive because they can help with anything and if they don’t know how to help, they will get you connected to someone who does. She also wants people to know that they have to put in work as well. She said, “Thrive will help you, but they won’t do everything for you. You have to want it also.”
Since working with Thrive, Bev and Glenn have become more hopeful and less stressed. They finally have time to do more things that they enjoy and take care of themselves better. They can think more long-term as opposed to just day by day. Bev hopes that if there is one thing people take from this, it’s the importance of never giving up.
Thank you, Bev and Glenn, for sharing your story. Both of you are an inspiration to many!