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Meet Our Community: Mary

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

This month we highlight Mary Jones (name changed for confidentiality purposes) and her family. Mary has lived in Central Oregon for 6 years with her family. In her free time, she loves to go swimming, biking, and to the park with her children.

Since moving, living in Central Oregon has been difficult for Mary and her family- but she has never given up hope. Mary worked for several years in the agricultural fields in Madras, but when the pandemic hit there wasn’t much work for her to do. During this time she lived in a small trailer that she owned, but the severe storm that came through Culver in 2020 destroyed it. She was then forced to rent a trailer that was in extremely poor condition in Madras. The trailer was pretty small for her and her 5 children, and when she started falling behind on rent she, knew she needed help.

Mary first heard about Thrive when she was reaching out to organizations in Madras that might be able to help her with rent. The organizations she reached out to were unable to help her, so she connected with us. Mary was so happy she reached out to Thrive because we were able to help her do some maintenance on her trailer to get it in decent condition, pay rent, and eventually obtain a Housing Choice Voucher. With the help of one of our Thrive advocates, Karla, Mary was able to use the Voucher to move into a 3-bedroom apartment in Redmond.

She is so grateful for her new place and said,

“Now my children and I have enough space, we are no longer cold, and the water no longer gets into our home. We are happy and safe.”

When asked if there was one specific advocate she worked with, she said “I started working with Sophie Noel, but when she left Thrive, and I worked with Karla. Even though my children and I now have a comfortable home to live in, I am still working with Karla. Every time I have doubts or have a problem, I know that Karla is there for me. She helps me keep my payments organized and on time, but above all, I feel comfortable because with her I can talk about everything good and bad that happens to me and I know that I can count on her help.” Mary is so grateful for the help that Karla and Thrive have shown her. Working with Thrive has helped her become a more positive person and believe that there are good people out there. She believes that everyone should reach out to Thrive if they need help.

Some words of wisdom Mary would like to share with everyone are, “The most important thing in life is not material things but love and the beautiful and good people who hold your hand and help you when you feel helpless.” and “Let's not let ourselves fall for obstacles, because there is always a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.”

Thank you Mary for sharing your story. We are so grateful to have you in our community.

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