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“New Properties, New Stories” By Becky Peters

I have been assisting with the new tenant base at our new property, Alvord Court. This is a new property on the Southside of Tucson that was built for a population with disabilities. One of the new tenants came in for her standard meet and greet that tenant services always preforms. During this time, I found out this new tenant was 22, has two children, one of which she gave birth to a month ago while she was homeless. This is the first 'home' this tenant has had in over a year. Compass Affordable Housing was able to secure extra bedding from donations of community members and stores for tenants to receive when they moved in, if they did not have household items. I was thrilled to help this new tenant pick out her color coordinated bedding for both children and herself. It was a very emotional and uplifting process because this new mom was so excited to finally bring her kids into her home.

I was also able to work with another new tenant who is a 38 year old wheelchair bound, male. This tenant had to leave his previous housing situation because he incurred an injury due to the fact that the property was not wheelchair accessible. He ended up injuring himself, landing in the hospital for 2 weeks, and because of his hospitalization and absence, he was unable to pay his rent. He has been transitioning from shelter to shelter for almost 3 months. During his paperwork session at this new property, I was able to sit with this new tenant and chat with him--I eventually had to act as an advocate for him because his transportation failed to pick him up three separate times. Fortunately, the situation was resolved, but it brought about an interesting conversation between myself and the new tenant. It became clear to me that cities and communities still do not fully understand the difficulties that are associated with disabilities—physical, mental, or developmental. Yes, there are the elements of physical pain and expensive health care cost--but there are also the costs of having to live your own life on the schedule of the other people who provide care for you. It was a very real, raw, and enlightening conversation for myself to engage in. Though I know it will be challenging to serve a population that has disabilities, especially since I have never worked with this population before, based on the great experiences I have already had, I look forward to getting to know more of the tenants at Alvord Court and assist them in any way I can. 

Becky Peters is a VISTA serving at Compass Affordable Housing. 

Becky Peters is a VISTA serving at Compass Affordable Housing. 

Published on March 23, 2016 by Spencer Brown.

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