Faced with an unsafe living situation and the threat of rising rent, Mary knew she had to do something.
“I was like ‘I’ve got to do something,’” she said. “I’m not getting [anywhere]. I’m not paying any bills. I’m not helping my credit. I’m just losing money and making myself depressed.”
She was paying $700 a month to rent a small room where she couldn’t open the windows or leave the room without fear of a dog attacking her or her cat.
Mary had applied to live at FROM’s Main Street Housing in the past, but the available unit wasn’t a good fit for her. She decided to apply again, and this time, she was able to move in.
The year she’s been in her new home wasn’t easy. Shortly after moving in, with limited work hours significantly impacting her income, Mary made the decision to transition jobs. She was encouraged to change jobs by her supportive friends, and a few FROM staff members. While it was a positive change for her, the delay in paycheck meant she needed an extension to pay her rent for the next month.
Wendie, FROM Executive Director, agreed to work with her, and Mary was thankful, saying it’s not a chance you really get anywhere else.
“I just wanted to cry when I wanted to ask [Wendie] about it…” Mary said. “I don’t like asking like that.”
She’s now settled into her new job, where she enjoys running a Hi-Lo, something she’s done for more than a decade.
Moving to Main Street Housing has had a positive impact on her financially, as well as helping improve her mental health, and stay more positive.
“I’m actually watching my credit go up, I’m getting everything paid off, I’m able to help my dad,” Mary said. “If I was still in that spot, I would not be able to help my dad…I wouldn’t be able to do everything an adult should be able to help their parents’ do.”
She’s thankful for the positive impact that stable and affordable housing has had on her life, and the foundation she is building, living in the community where she has support.
“I’m doing it on my own. I’m here in Lowell, that’s all I wanted,” she said.
When asked about why affordable housing is so important to the Greater Lowell community, Mary was quick to share.
“People deserve [affordable housing]. They deserve the opportunity, that’s what they deserve.”