This story is part of a collection of stories under the series Voices of Acadia. Each story highlights the residents in one of Acadia’s units and how they came to call it home. To read more stories in this series, click here.
“The building we used to live in went up for sale with all the tenants included. The new buyer increased our rent by about $300 a month. Then the building switched owners again and the same thing happened. It became too expensive to live there. One of our neighbors approached us trying to unite all the tenants to go to court, but I don’t like doing things like that so we decided it would be best to move, especially because we were already having some other problems living there.”
“We began looking for new places, but found it was going to be too expensive to move once we factored in security deposits and having to pay months of rent up front - one landlord wanted to charge us four months of rent up front. We didn’t know what we were going to do. We had never heard of affordable housing until our son’s therapist told us about it. I knew about TND – I had been there to get help with SNAP benefits or a class I was looking for – but I didn’t know Winn was across the parking lot and that I could apply for housing there. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was putting pieces in our puzzle together because at Winn they explained everything I needed to know about subsidized housing, the waitlist, etc. and they helped me apply.”
“When we applied for Acadia I was a little discouraged because there were so many people applying. There was a big lottery raffle event that happened at the elementary school, but I didn’t go because I didn’t think I was going to get it. Plus, if I got it, they would send me something in the mail letting me know I did.”
“My husband opened the envelope that told us we won the lottery and I called to set up our pre-qualification meeting. We were very nervous to go to the meeting. During the time we were waiting to find out if we qualified, we would park outside of Acadia and look at it and wonder if it was really going to be ours. When we found out we did qualify, we were told the setup of how many bedrooms would be in our unit, but we never actually saw the unit until we moved in. It felt a little bit like online dating – we weren’t sure exactly what it was going to look like in person. We continued to stop by Acadia on our outings and try to guess what window would be ours, what side of the building we would live on… we never guessed correctly, but my husband had a feeling it would be on the front side of the building, which it is.”
“When we first moved in, my older son, Said, said ‘Wow Mom, I feel like I’m in a five star hotel’ and even now he feels like he’s in a five star hotel. Both of my sons have been very happy since we’ve moved. Our old apartment was small and used to have an exposed heater that restricted where and how much room our two-year-old, Jairo Jr., could play in. Since moving, Jairo Jr. has had so much more room to run around and play – he’s like Speedy Gonzalez now! At his age with autism he’s not supposed to know where he lives but he knows the elevator and where the apartment is. Living in Acadia has been very helpful for him to grow – he doesn’t speak but he’s been communicating more in different ways and has learned new skills.”