Stories of Impact

Jefferson County is full of stories of struggle as well as stories of hope.  Here, you’ll find personal stories of those who have been impacted by our housing crisis, as well as those who are making an impact. 

Have your own housing story to share? Email to contribute.

Re-evaluating Rent – by Susan, a Port Townsend landlord

I rent out an ADU in Port Townsend, although I live in the rural Southwest where the cost of living is quite inexpensive and my limited income covers my needs. I paid for the construction of the ADU, which is on my sister’s property, with a small inheritance from my father, as well as loans and help with the construction from my siblings. My sister offered me this opportunity because she wanted me to have an additional source of income beyond my small social security payment. In the beginning, while building the unit and setting the rent, I thought ADU stood for “affordable dwelling unit.” I soon learned otherwise.

Now, 15 years later, the current tenant has lost his livelihood due to the pandemic, and quickly took action to pivot the nature of his work to make ends meet. He asked my sister and me if we would accept half the amount for rent for upwards of a few months. I immediately knew I would, and my sister agreed.

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What kind of community do we want?

After joining the educational Outreach Housing Action Team I’ve found that I think about our housing crisis almost every single day. For me, this crisis is all about what kind of community we want, and intend, to be.

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Sustaining Our Mission

Recently I was talking to a friend who works at Dove House about their recruiting. She told me that they had found an excellent candidate for a job opening, who unfortunately couldn’t take the position because she could not find housing. For nonprofits and businesses alike, the lack of housing makes providing services and sustaining staff an ongoing challenge.

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