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A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness on top of an already existing autoimmune illness, which left me unable to work and created a complete turn of events in my life. Like many, this is not a position I thought I would find myself in but life had given me a twist and turn of events out of my control. Finding affordable, safe, clean, and well-run housing seemed impossible, but necessary. Thankfully, I found HAND housing.

I am able to live near my hometown which not only makes it much easier for me to access places I need to, but it also lets me know my way around the area which is not an easy task with a chronic illness; it gives me some independence. I was able to avoid stress inducing circumstances on many levels that would have left me with hard, tough decisions and burdens not only for me to face but for others and especially my still very young adult children. Although this isn’t where I want to be in life, I know it could be much worse. I can rest in my own environment and living space while fighting a serious illness. I worry less about my children’s concerns for me because I want them to live out their youth and dreams without constant pressures and concerns placed on all of us. Two of my children are living in different cities with careers just starting and daily life stress of their own even for healthy people. My youngest is still in college. The emotional toll is hard enough without added concerns about housing for me.

Without your health, being single and not being able to work is a disaster on many levels. It’s not easy but the alternatives for housing would not have been ideal and potentially could have kept the people I love and care about and myself in crisis mode along with pressing health worries already on all our minds. Thank you, HAND, for your understanding and compassion and withholding judgement in order to help those whose lives have taken turns we didn’t plan for, expect or who just need a hand for whatever reasons life brings our way. It can happen to anyone at any time. I am of course humbled by all of this. I hope in writing this statement that it will help support upcoming HAND projects and for future plans to bring more affordable housing into Hamilton County. Without people who make this happen, many people would be left destitute, in crisis, and many other unfavorable circumstances as you all know.

Thank you and sincerely,

A HAND tenant

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