Feeling Safe at Home: Kristen’s Story

As shared by Amanda Gibson, Jubilee Housing Support Services Specialist

Kristen Ulek really enjoys the amenities that come with living in a high-rise apartment building, but she had become anxious about living on a high floor after a fire in her apartment building. You see, Kristen uses a wheelchair. Elevators don’t run in an emergency like fire. She wanted to move.

I got to work helping Kristen find a new apartment where she would feel safe. She needed it to be accessible for her wheelchair, have a second bedroom for her live-in Jubilee staff, and she wanted amenities like a swimming pool. Most importantly, she wanted to be on a low floor to alleviate her anxiety about emergency scenarios where she could not use the elevator.

Kristen and I toured apartment buildings together. It’s a challenge to find affordable, accessible housing. But I kept at it. Finally, we found the perfect apartment for Kristen. It’s on the second floor of a high-rise building, and she even has a view of the swimming pool.

It takes a lot of time to do this work properly—meetings with clients and case managers, touring apartments, filling out reams of paperwork for vouchers, apartments, Social Security and more. Some people don’t quality for government support for this service at all. That’s why much our work is done pro bono thanks to Jubilee donors.

It’s a great feeling knowing Kristen is in a home where she feels safe. She says the apartment is “just right” for her. I’m so glad I was able to help her, and that Jubilee prioritizes helping people live in a home of their choosing.

Contact Jubilee’s Housing Support Services Manager Francess Issa at fissa@jubileemd.org to learn how our Housing Support Services can help your loved one with intellectual or developmental disabilities navigate the complex housing system to find a home of their own.

Apply for Housing Support Services online.