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Jannette Finds Her Way Home

For Jannette, a resident of Casa de la Misión in San Francisco, waking up in her own apartment home feels like realizing a lifelong dream.

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“I said yes without even seeing the place, and when I did see it, I dropped down on my knees and said, ‘Thank you, Jesus — I’m home.'”

 

— Jannette,
Mercy Housing Resident

 

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“I turned 66 in March, and I’ve never had my own place before this — not once in my life,” said Jannette, who previously spent around fifteen years living unsheltered. “I love it here. It’s quiet, it’s gorgeous, and it’s clean.” 

Jannette first lost her housing when her fiancé, a veteran, passed away. Though she had resided in her home for years, her landlords pushed her out, arguing that her name wasn’t on the lease. “I lost everything I had,” Jannette recalls. “I couldn’t bring anything with me. And I went through so much on the streets. It’s horrible, especially for a woman.” 

Jannette couch surfed or slept unsheltered for years, until, in 2020, her doctor told her about Project Roomkey, a California initiative to provide people experiencing homelessness with hotel rooms to prevent COVID-19 transmission. She connected with a caseworker who found her a room. The shelter and stability were welcome, but, Jannette said, “I wasn’t really sure where I would go after I had to leave.”

After a year and a half of staying in the hotel, a service provider asked Jannette if she’d like to be one of the first residents at Casa de la Misión, a brand-new permanent supportive housing community for seniors exiting homelessness. “I said yes without even seeing the place, and when I did see it, I dropped down on my knees and said, ‘Thank you, Jesus — I’m home,’” she said.

Today, Jannette enjoys cooking in her new kitchen, relaxing in her room, and strolling up to the nearby park to enjoy the sun. She makes good use of the produce stands, delis, and locally-owned restaurants in her new neighborhood, San Francisco’s historic Mission District, and has built great relationships with the onsite property management and resident services staff at Casa de la Misión. “I’m so thankful for the staff and the counselors,” she said.

Now that she has a stable home, Jannette hopes to find a way to see her relatives living in Seattle for the first time in many years. “That’s one dream I have,” said Jannette. “But my other dream, I’ve already got it. I’ve got my own kitchen, my own bedroom, I can do what I want. I’m in the best place I could be.”