A Place to Call Home
“I’m looking forward to the noise.” As Irene spoke, her neighbors laughed and carried on as usual. The group of seasoned citizens were well known to one another by now; living in an apartment building, that, with all the get-togethers and card games in the community room, sometimes felt more like a sorority house than a senior housing facility.
“Why would you want that?” Irene knew the question was coming and had considered the answer for some time. In fact, she had considered the idea ever since they announcement came down at the last residents’ meeting that the apartments would be expanding by an additional 39 apartments – almost double. She remembered the prayers she had uttered, two years ago now, when she was looking for a place to call home.
Irene had been searching for months for a home. She knew her social security checks would not pay for much and the neighborhood she had been living in was not safe for a woman getting on in years.
“Sweet Jesus, help me find a place to live…I don’t ask for much”, she spoke so quietly, almost afraid to say what she wanted. “A place to call home…where I can walk to the grocery store…where I can feel safe and walk in the neighborhood…”, her chest tightened with the fear that it might not exist; “and where the people in the building are friendly…” Just voicing her last request made it hard to believe that she could ever have everything she wanted, “and someplace I can afford.” Was it hopeless? Irene just wasn’t sure.
Irene believed God listened to her prayers, but she didn’t know that he could promise everything she wanted. She knew her faith could move mountains and her sweet Jesus loved her dearly but with everything she had endured, she wasn’t sure he would grant her this.
But then the answer came…in two words, Coventry Place. The first time she walked through the doors, she knew she had found a special place. The Community Administrator introduced herself; not with a firm handshake, but a warm hug. As Irene walked through the building, seeing the apartments, community room and courtyard, Irene began to see that her prayers were being answered. The building was beautiful, the residents were friendly and the neighborhood was quiet, with a grocery store and shopping center just down the street. When she sat down in the office to talk about the nitty-gritty of rent and move-in costs, it was carefully explained that she could afford to live here. Because of her low-income, Irene qualified to live at Coventry Place Apartments. Rent was based on a sliding scale of income, only 30% of residents’ income would be used for rent, leaving Irene with enough money each month for her groceries, clothing and other expenses. Irene had found her home, the answers to her prayers.
“I am looking forward to the noise of the new building because with the added apartments, someone else could be as lucky as I am.” Her friends, neighbors, in the community room all stopped laughing. As they nodded and raised their voices in agreement with Irene, they knew they were the lucky ones, to be blessed with Coventry Place, to be blessed with Irene.