Judianne’s Story of Success and Hope
Judianne is a single Mom with an increasingly challenging disability and three children who she supports on her own. One of her children has autism which has made living in apartment complexes difficult. Her neighbors didn’t always understand her son’s behaviors and them disturbing. When Judianne found Homes First it changed her life and the lives of her children. They were able to move into a single family home with a fully fenced back yard; a home to call their own where her son with autism could have the space to be himself without Judianne having to worry about disturbing neighbors.
However, even though Homes First rent is half of regular market-rate rent, it took all Judianne had to move in. When she told our property manager that she didn’t have enough money left over to even buy toilet paper he knew we needed to do something. Homes First purchased a bucket (which can be reused as a household cleaning tool) and filled it with all the things a new tenant might need, especially one with children: toilet paper AND a plunger,, paper towel, instant coffee & a coffee cup, tooth brushes and a multitude of cleaning supplies and other necessities.
For us, this was a small thing, but for Judianne and her family it was the first time a landlord had ever taken the time to care about more than her rent check. Judianne was in tears when she told us how meaningful this was to her. “I feel like Homes First really cares about my success and the future of my family.” Judianne told us, “You are the best, most caring landlords I’ve ever had.”
Since that eye-opener for Homes First staff, we have adopted this as a standard when we welcome new tenants. Now we even add a bow on top and a letter that tells them “Welcome Home.”