Sisters, Tammy and Barbara, have always been there for each other. When their own kids grew up and moved away, Tammy and Barbara moved in together to take care of each other and share living costs. But, they found themselves facing homelessness when their landlord, who was also Tammy’s son, increased their rent by several hundred dollars in attempts to push them out. They moved into their car and, since then, it’s been two years of instability. We met the sisters when they came to our women’s shelter and got to sit down with them to hear some of their experience.

BARBARA: “It’s been okay, but this is not where we want to stay. We should be able to have a place of our own.”

TAMMY: “We can’t afford to turn around and pay a thousand dollars for rent plus light, gas, the car, and still be able to live. It’s crazy. I don’t think they were prepared for this many baby boomers. It leaves us like hitting our head against a tree because we don’t know what to do. We also both have CMT. It’s a genetic disorder. It affects nerves and balance. I was diagnosed with that then got diagnosed with bone cancer two years later. Neither one are curable, but they’re doable is the way the doctors put it.”

BARBARA: “All we can do is back up and punt and see what happens. She’s my rock. I would be lost without her. I’m six years older. I’m 71, she’s 65. But I keep telling her I’m not going anywhere and you’re not going anywhere. So just hang in there and we’ll keep going the best we can. We just want to get our own place. We’d even accept a studio, just anything to get us into somewhere so that we can start living our lives.

We continue to support Tammy and Barbara as they face health challenges and the frustrating lack of affordable housing. Stories like theirs speak to a need for new supportive housing solutions like the Good Neighbor Village, which you can learn more about here.