Thomas Riley

Thomas, 64, never thought he would become homeless, and says it certainly was not on his to-do list in life. He moved from Boston to the North Bay area 30 years ago at a time when he was a successful sales executive. He made a career shift into property management, and then he was injured on the job. He thought the disability would last one or two months, but it turned into years. With little or no income, he found himself soon camping at a campsite above Fairfax, in the woods. Homeward Bound was a great help getting him out of that situation, but only temporarily. What followed was what Thomas saw as his only hope, which was to live for two years in his storage unit, with a much regimented routine to compensate for the circumstances. When Thomas found an apartment with PEP Housing, he was so grateful to have again what was so much more than a normal home. He says he is truly grateful for all the wonderful people at PEP Housing who have helped him find a place to call home, more than he can ever express.

Chris, 70, was enjoying a good life in good health until he suffered a stroke and everything changed for him. Unable to return to the home he lost, Chris remained in a Petaluma Rehab facility for 3.5 years waiting for housing, since 2009. Fortunately, he found his way to the top of our Waitlist, which put applicants in a queue for currently well over 2 years as PEP works hard to build more apartments. Because he is now paralyzed on his left side and uses a wheelchair, he will be moving into to an available two bedroom unit at PEP Housing soon, so to accommodate plans for a caregiver who will live with him, caring for his daily needs.

Steve 72, was a homeless veteran living at a campsite on the Petaluma River for a number of years. He has suffered from tongue cancer, and lost his tongue during the treatment process. He taught himself to talk after the surgery, a huge accomplishment for someone who doesn’t have a tongue. When he came to PEP Housing, he came with nothing except his beloved dog, Kirby. Not only did PEP Housing provide Steve with the essentials he would need to set up a comfortable apartment, (a bed, bedding, etc.), Mary bought his dog a dog bed. Steve told Mary that his dog had never had a bed before, and Kirby loves it! Unfortunately, Steve’s courageous battle with cancer continues, but he and his dog Kirby continue to live well at his home at PEP Housing.

Lillian, 68, was a devoted daughter and lived her entire life with her mother. In her mother’s final years and while her mother was in declining health, Lillian was her mother’s attentive and loving caregiver. Then, when her mother died, Lillian lost both her mother and her home within a short period of time. Lillian was asked to leave the home immediately after her mother’s death due to the prior arrangement of a reverse mortgage on the house. Lillian was heartbroken, depressed, and under a tremendous amount of stress, facing what she thought was nowhere to turn. Because homelessness was a very real and present danger for her, a very special accommodation was made for Lillian to have a unit at PEP Housing when the world seemed to leave her out in the cold. Forever grateful for the blessings that came when her life’s ‘fork in the road’ looked terrifying, today Lillian is well, happy, secure in her new home, with friends and, as she says, “with love all around!”

Jill, 78, was for a number of years living in Petaluma with her daughter, Polly, and her four boys. When Polly ran into financial problems, she had to downsize her living situation to cut expenses. The family moved to a loft, in what resulted in very cramped quarters and very undesirable for a family of 6. To consider a new place where she could enjoy peace, some quiet, her own bathroom, and have a decent roof over her head seemed out of reach financially, until she learned about PEP Housing. With patience and perseverance, she found her way to a PEP Housing unit which she calls her “favorite home with a view”. Jill is near Polly and her family, and sees them often. But, Jill has enjoyed this time of her life for meditation and prayer, living alone. She is very grateful for her home, to PEP Housing, and says it was very much worth the wait.

Karen , 66, owned her home for 15 years, but then faced a medical crisis. After suffering with ill health for a few weeks, this led to her having bowel surgery, which incurred significant medical expenses. What then followed in a few short months was the foreclosure of her home. Karen then was welcomed by her daughter in her small home, but for short time. Karen applied for PEP Housing. Today she is happy in her apartment and in good health, with a new lease on life.