Linda’s Story

Linda’s Story

In 1996, Linda went through a difficult divorce. It had been an abusive relationship, and in the settlement, her husband took everything. All her savings, her retirement funds, and more – gone. She had worked her entire life as a nurse and a nursing instructor at places like the University of Minnesota, helping to educate caretakers in her community. But when her husband left, she could no longer afford the rent on her house. 

She started looking for another place to live. She looked for senior housing and low-income housing throughout the Twin Cities, but she couldn’t find anything that she would qualify for. She had no other choice but to live out of her car. Linda is a diabetic, and it was hard to find a place to store her insulin, which needs to be kept cold. But she still considered herself lucky that it was summer, and not the frigid temperatures of a Minnesota winter. Knowing the change of season was around the corner, she was desperate to find a home.

Through the grapevine, an employee at Aeon found out that Linda was homeless, and he worked to get her into an Aeon home. But the rent, even though it was considered “affordable,” was difficult for her to pay on her own. At the end of the month, she only had $300 left for groceries, medicine, and other necessities. Someone on the Resident Connections team eventually helped her get an apartment that was subsidized. 

Now, she can afford her home. She doesn’t have to choose between her insulin and her rent. And she has the opportunity to grow.

“For the first time in my life,” she says, “I can say that I have friendships. My neighbors have become my friends.”

Community really is so much a part of what makes a home, a home. She’s giving back to her community, too. She’s involved in volunteer groups with her friends at the property. She has organized a food shelf and worked on voter registration. She has also advocated for affordable homes at the state legislature, speaking on behalf of the Bring it Home, MN campaign in meetings with legislators and at a rally on Capitol Hill.

Linda’s home also makes it easier for her to manage her health. She has a refrigerator where she can store her insulin, and an address to have her medications delivered.

“Best of all,” she explains, “I have a place where my grandchildren can come visit me. I can welcome them in my own space, and I know that it’s safe for them to be there with me. I have had the opportunity to get excited about my life again!”

As a senior, Linda may not look like the face of homelessness, but in fact her story is reflected in those of many other Aeon residents, as well. She is only one person out of a growing number of seniors facing homelessness. And she is only one person whose life has been changed through the care and commitment of Aeon’s Resident Connections staff.

You can help others that are going through the things that Linda did. You can help them find a home. “Just like me, it will make all the difference for them and their family,” Linda says.