Leesa Applebee, age 36
Having a stable and safe place to live has had a dramatic effect upon my life. The liberation in being able to come and go from my apartment without being under some sense of threat has enabled me to establish closer relationships with my neighbors and in my community. It has been a beautiful gift to get up in the morning and feel safe enough to go out into our yard and feed the birds or just relax in the sun. To come home at night and find only peace in our hallways, the quietness of care. Or to gather together with my neighbors in a tornado warning.
I didn’t even know such support, consideration, and care were even available for someone at my income level. Affordable housing has opened many new doors for me, along with renewed self-respect and a sense of prosperity and hope. Living here has shown me that I can be in a better place, that I can sustain my own home, and that responsibility isn’t something to be avoided, but to be taken on because it is worth it, we are worth it. A home can be where we start from, to reach higher, a safe haven to come and go from, a base that must be stable, manageable, and healthy.
I imagine a great future for myself now. I couldn’t say that a few years ago. Back then, I heard gun shots in the night; now I listen to crickets. Back then, my windows were bolted and sealed shut; now the evening breeze fills my room. You decide which has given me a more positive outlook, which has created peace and hope. I already know.