Lives at Chestnut Square Senior in Livermore.

A senior feels her path to a stable, affordable home was meant to be.

In her own words:

I’ve lived in Livermore for over 15 years and grew up just north of here.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but the vision gets blurry and the road gets hard. Over a decade ago, my mom became increasingly sick and so I uprooted my life in Southern California and moved back to care for her. I cared for her until she passed.

I’ve always worked, since I turned 17. I have a strong work ethic. I was an office manager at a law firm, worked for the IRS and did ministry work. I liked working in administrative support roles, but none of them paid nearly enough. There was no way to establish stability.

I had no way to save enough money for my own home, but I kept reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. So for 15 years, I rented a room in someone else’s home. And it was okay because I got to know these amazing people, but no matter what – you still feel like this isn’t your home, you’re just a guest. Stay in your room, avoid them in the kitchen, hide from the common areas – anything to stay out of their way.

But then at the end of 2018, I had a triple bypass. Now this was hard. Just because everything happens for a reason – doesn’t make it any easier. I wasn’t able to work. I didn’t want my disability to define me, but there wasn’t much that I could do. I just had to stay put.

Then, I saw a flyer about a property under construction in Livermore! After being told time after time again “You’re not on our list because you don’t live here, you live in Livermore” – there was finally a construction I could apply to in Livermore! I was elated, it felt like fate. So, I held onto that feeling and I kept hopeful throughout the process.

Stephanie, the community manager, made everything so easy. She led me through the whole process and helped me submit the proper documentation. When I told her that my disability was going away, she assured me that MidPen would help arrange a solution and that I wouldn’t have to worry.

I moved in September 2019. And I found my home. My safe haven. My place to reestablish myself. I never thought I would be so excited to see a bill in my name, but those are things we take for granted. For 15 years, I didn’t have my own mailing address. Nothing was in my name. It’s hard to show that to employers when they ask for bills for proof of residence. And now? I’m maybe the only one who smiles when I see mail from PG&E because I know it’s not just a bill, it means stability – the same stability I longed for. This home is my anchor.

I’m able to take care of myself and my health. I get to put myself first. I don’t have to tiptoe around other people and pretend that I’m okay when I’m not. If I’m not feeling well – it’s okay. I don’t have to explain to anyone because this is my home. I’ve been granted the freedom to feel how I want and do as I want.

For once, I’m able to host my friends and family. For Thanksgiving, I had 9 people come over – 3 of them being my neighbors. We had so much fun, nobody wanted to leave.

Chestnut Square has become more than just a home for me. I didn’t realize how much the people in my life needed this too; they can see that I’m OK now. I’m so happy and they’re happy for me. At 65 years old, I have a renewed sense of life. Everything happens for a reason. And this very moment is proof of that.

Thank you MidPen, for giving me an anchor and safe haven for me to reestablish myself, rebuild relationships and focus on healing myself.