It was the last campground of the season — Seven Points, space 25. From that spot, you can see the beautiful sunsets and peaceful waves rolling upon the lake. It was the first space my son Paul and I ever backed into when we got the RV two years ago. This spot is occupied most of the time so when I saw it was available for four nights I jumped on it. It would be a time to work on the RV with the slides out making it accessible to fully clean and get ready for winter; adding blankets to the bed and putting away our summer clothes.
That morning I did the usual. I let out my dog Faith and made a cup of coffee while enjoying the quiet of the morning before too much activity began. Faith started barking so I knew she was stuck and outside and I went to bring her in. I’m still figuring out what I can do and what I can’t do by myself physically, but this time I was able to let her back in without help.
A couple hours later my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but for some reason I answered it — a very rare occurrence. I said, “Hello,” and all I really remember is hearing the words, “Hadley Park” and “affordable housing.” I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t breath or even think. Hadley Park is a Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) property in Nashville. I kept thinking, this is the call. I asked the woman on the other end of the phone to hold on a minute because I wanted to write everything down so I wouldn’t forget a thing. After compiling a list of notes, we hung up and I was just in shock. I filled out those MDHA applications for affordable housing at Hadley Park seven months ago. I heard nothing by phone or email and eventually I forgot about them. I figured that when and if my disability came in, then it would be easier to get into one of the older housing communities.
The weekend dragged on and my mind was spinning with so many “what ifs.” Tears of joy streamed down my face that maybe this time it’s my turn. I channeled that energy into focusing on what I needed for the interview. I found every document they needed from my birth certificate to a copy of my social security card. Many homeless people lose documents and can have trouble replacing them, but I was lucky to have all of mine tucked away in a clear plastic file case.
I wasn’t sure how to navigate AccessRide with having to stop to pick up letters from Neighborhood Health about my disability, but a dear friend stepped in to give me a ride there and back. This was really going to happen! I was going to start the process of getting into housing. I spent all weekend thinking about having a home without wheels.
Monday finally came and I went in and started the paperwork. The process of it being my turn. Hearing others who had obtained housing was always bittersweet. The joy of a homeless person getting into housing while you’re still left without can cause a turmoil of feelings, but the joy of those finding housing always wins out.
I’m looking forward to being part of the housed community. I can take Faith to the nearby park, and there’s a library right next door. It couldn’t be more perfect for me — for us.