I have experienced many miracles in my life, the most amazing one being when my infant daughter from Guatemala, who was permanently deaf due to malnutrition and bone malformation, miraculously …
I have experienced many miracles in my life, the most amazing one being when my infant daughter from Guatemala, who was permanently deaf due to malnutrition and bone malformation, miraculously regained her hearing after a family visit to LaSalette Shrine. Of course, another miracle came our way yesterday.
My daughter, Marie, who is deaf and has PTSD, lives with a good friend, Sally, who is also deaf. They are a fabulous pair, daily traveling to local beaches and points of interest in the state, eating out, going to the movies and shopping at Walmart. Sally is funded as a caregiver for Marie through the Works for Me program at the Trudeau Center. They have lived together in a great little house in Warwick, but their lease is expiring the end of June because the landlord and his wife want to move back in. Thus began the challenge of finding another place to live. Firstly, any landlord is looking for a good credit report. Neither Marie nor Sally actually HAVE a credit report because neither has a credit card or have applied for a loan, so that counts them out for that requirement. Landlords also look for good employment history. Marie has never worked due to her disabilities, and Sally’s first job was to work with Marie, and she has only been doing so for six months, hardly a lengthy work history. The other thing landlords look for is an extensive rental history. One year hardly counts. Three strikes against them. It would be a miracle to find another place to live.
We went to tour six different places yesterday. For each place, there was a torrent of would be renters, couples and families who were in the same boat as Marie and Sally in that they had to find another place to live. Applications were filled out, but it was obvious that my daughter and her friend did not have a chance, especially when the landlords reiterated that no dogs were allowed. Sally tried to explain that she has a service dog that will alert her to doorbells, fire alarms and so forth. Each landlord groaned and explained again that dogs are not allowed, no matter what type of dog they were. (Just a note: service dogs are not considered pets and it is illegal to deny rental to someone who has a service dog.) We left each place dejected and convinced they would be homeless.
The sixth place we went also had people traipsing in and out of the home. It was a large house with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and the open house drew many large families and groups of four or five “guys.” Marie and Sally loved the house, which had a large back yard for the dog and a bathroom for each of them so they would no longer have to share. The house is conveniently located near stores and restaurants, and the residential neighborhood is safe and friendly. The landlord, an Indian gentleman who seemed overwhelmed by the large number of people in and out of his house, gave us an application for the young women to fill out. Name, telephone number, e-mail…then credit score, number of years of employment and rental history. On paper, it seemed they had abysmal chances except for the fact that they schmoozed well with the landlord. Despite deafness, they have excellent communication skills. Using gestures and texting on their phones they demonstrated to the landlord that they would keep the house very clean, happily mow the lawn and wash the windows. They also promised not to have any parties, and be quiet neighbors. The landlord discussed how his past tenants have had several children who broke the windows or five college students who partied all the time and neighbors would always call 911. The two, young deaf women charmed him with their simplicity. Two young women with limited credit, work and rental history broke the mold for the ideal tenants. Without even glancing at the rental application, the landlord agreed to rent to them. It was a MIRACLE!
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