My name is Mike, and I have lived at Mutual Housing at the Highlands since October of 2011. I was one of the first people to get on the waiting list, and I am so happy I was able to move in. After learning that my arthritis would prevent me from working the construction and office jobs that I had done in the past, I knew that I needed to find a place that was more affordable. My disability checks did not cover rent and other expenses such as food, utilities, doctor’s appointments, and medication. When I found out about openings at Mutual Housing, I was relieved to know that I would be paying less in rent.

I also like living at Mutual Housing because I have been able to participate in the community as a volunteer. Since I cannot work, I like to stay active both at Mutual Housing and at Bayside Church where I work with youth. I have been working with Bayside Church youth for seven years, helping with camps and after school programs, and I like to help lead kids in the right direction. I even have seen some of the kids I have worked with move on to college.

Being able to volunteer at Mutual Housing during food distribution, creating a monthly calendar of community events, flyer distribution, and helping in other community group events has given me a chance to work right in my community. I especially like helping with food distribution because it is organized, people work together, and everyone has a chance to get something. We look forward to food distribution at the end of the month, and we help each other out by setting aside food bags for neighbors who were unable to come that day. I also like to check in and see what is going on with everyone when participating in activities like the food distribution. I know that a lot of people here have challenges and struggles, but it is nice to see the times that we do work together for community well-being.

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