HDC communities can be a safe, affordable place for individuals to live out the next chapter of their lives. That is the case for St. Peter Apartments resident Wendy Boyd, who moved into her apartment a year ago after looking for an ADA compliant apartment for a long time. Wendy has an aggressive rheumatoid diagnosis that has impacted her mobility and depleted her finances causing her to need an affordable, accessible apartment to support her quality of life.
“I know that with buildings like this, there’s a stigma attached. Like we’re low-income housing, but I prefer the terminology affordable housing. I did not grow up poor. I had a decent paying job in my career. I’m an accountant by trade,” she says. “This can happen to anyone. Getting sick and ending up in a situation like this can happen to anyone.”
Read more about Wendy’s story in her own words here.
In her own words:
I moved in this past July. I have a rheumatoid diagnosis. It’s a very aggressive, progressive form of it. I was staying with a friend of mine in Wrightsville and at that point I was applying for social security and disability. It was becoming impossible to function.
I found a very tiny affordable apartment in Marietta, so I became familiar with the area. I learned there were high rises nearby. I applied for both St. Peters Apartments and Trinity House Apartments, and some places in York. I waited on the list for three and a half years to get the call.
When I was on the waiting list, I would call in and ask where I was on the list. I would think, what am I supposed to do? Sometimes I would break down and cry. There are only so many places allocated for people under age 62 with mobility issues. I was shocked at how long the waiting list is. What do people who are in my situation do?
That final year in Marietta, on the second floor, it was not disability friendly. I was having a lot of trouble. It was such a blessing when St. Peters finally called. I didn’t know what I was going to do. By that point, I was crawling up the stairs to my apartment. Doing grocery shopping and things, it just wasn’t happening anymore.
I was very surprised when I saw the apartment. It’s wheelchair accessible, so if I ever do end up needing one, I know I’ll be able to move around. Right now, I walk with a cane or a walker. For my mobility issues, the elevator is a God send.
The apartment is a nice size, and the building, they do a fantastic job of keeping it clean. Knowing there’s something here in the building with me all the time, I don’t feel so alone. It’s not as scary.
Before I got sick, I owned a house in Lititz. My daughter was killed in a car accident 16 years ago. That’s when my life really changed. Things started to unravel at that point. That’s when I realized there was something physically wrong with me. My hands are mangled. The medications can be pretty brutal too.
I went from my own house of 25 years to an apartment to here. Sometimes there’s a lot of activity here, and that can still be a little overwhelming.
I’ve gone to some of the community lunches. I was kind of surprised that there weren’t more people in attendance. For $5, you get quite the meal.
Community can be good and community can be bad, but overall I can’t imagine having to move or waiting to move somewhere else from here. It has met my needs. And it has been a God send financially.
I know that with buildings like this, there’s a stigma attached. Like we’re low-income housing, but I prefer the terminology affordable housing. I did not grow up poor. I had a decent paying job in my career. I’m an accountant by trade. This can happen to anyone. Getting sick and ending up in a situation like this can happen to anyone. When you are faced with that question of what am I going to do? My resources were depleted because I was waiting for disability.
I’m 57 years old. Either I’m going to maintain my independence and I’ll be here till I die, so I’ll go to a nursing home. That sounds sad. It sounds morbid, but it’s a reality.
I know very few people who are here only because it’s cheap. We’re not pocketing a ton of money. We’re here because we have to be. So why can’t we make this a pleasant experience?