Each month we interview a current or past Thrive Central Oregon service user to shed light on the breadth of experiences that folks have in our community, as well as the services we provide. This month Kendall chats with south Deschutes County resident Renegade, who tells us about his struggle with medical bills and relocating to more affordable housing over the past couple of years, with Thrive’s support.
K: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what brought you to Thrive?
R: Well, I’m a Vet. I’m 81 [years old] and I’ve lived in La Pine about 15 years. I got sick with pneumonia a few years ago and I was in the hospital for a month. After I came back to my house, I had a lot of bills from my time in the hospital that I wasn’t sure how I would pay, so this lady at the La Pine Community Kitchen told me I should talk to Thrive.
K: How has Thrive helped you or assisted you in meeting your goals/resources you were seeking?
R: Well, they’ve helped me with a lot of things. They helped me get those medical bills straightened out. I know they helped connect me with the VA, who helped me get a VASH Voucher because my rent went up so much that I couldn’t afford my house anymore. We ended up traveling across the countryside looking for a place to live where I could use my voucher.
K: What is your life like right now, during the pandemic?
R: Well, I’m kind of a lone wolf and more so than ever right now. I basically go shopping, check my mail, and go home.
K: If you can sum up your experience w/ Thrive in a sentence, what would it be?
R: If there was a scale from 1 to 10- it would be a 10.