Lance and Nicole lived in various housing arrangements with their two children, including a cramped studio apartment for 13 years. Because of the high cost of housing the family weren’t able to afford an apartment that comfortably accommodated the couple and their teenage children. Leading up to their move into Avena Bella, the family lived in different cities and lived separately with their extended family. Lance lived with his mother and Nicole lived with their children in a different town.
In 2013, the couple heard about Avena Bella and successfully applied. They moved into a two-bedroom apartment and couldn’t be happier. The couple was asked to speak at the 2013 EAH Housing Advocacy Evening and share their experiences with the audience that consisted of affordable housing advocates, business leaders and community members.
Through their American Sign Language translator, the couple discussed their evolving life as a family and the hardships in finding stable employment in Stanislaus County. They were both very thankful to be able to finally live together under one roof.
Lance said, “We got lucky here. I’ve been studying for a while as a mechanic. I’ve been looking for employment but it’s difficult to find employment when you’re deaf – there’s a communication barrier.”
Nicole added, “Thank you for building this opportunity for us. Thank you for creating happiness in this way.”