"I Was So Happy I Cried"


"I lived in the same apartment for 15 years until my youngest son – he’s 26 now – got us evicted. He got into a conflict with someone on our property, and the rules state that that’s automatic eviction. So we went to court. I fought, and I fought, and I said to the judge, ‘Your honor, I wasn’t involved. My other son wasn’t involved. Why can’t we stay?’ So he said, ‘We can’t break up the family. You all came in here together, so all three of you have to leave.' So all three of us got evicted.

“That hurt me. Fifteen years, you know? Always paying my rent on time, very nice apartment. I didn’t know what to do. So that’s where my journey started. I had to put everything that I owned in storage. Then I lost everything in storage – everything that I had – because I couldn’t keep up with the payments. So I had to start all over again.  

“I was at a shelter for 10 months. It was just really hard leaving every day, walking the streets, and leaving the shelter by 8 every morning. Couldn’t get back in the shelter until 3. It was just so hard. But I was lucky. I was only there for 10 months. There was people that had been there two, three, four years. I was really lucky.
"When I went in that shelter, I said to myself, ‘I’m here for one thing only. I have to do what I have to do, and what I need, to get out of here.’ And I started doing the footwork the day I went in there. I wasn’t there to make friends, I wasn’t there to mess around, I was there to get an apartment and get out of there.  

“And that’s what I did from day one – filling out applications, I didn’t care where they were from. I just filled out applications every day. I walked to the library; I looked at newspapers. I looked on a computer. If I walked down the street and saw a sign that said ‘one bedroom available,’ I went in there and I filled out the application. I did what I had to do. 

“One day at the shelter they announced the application [for Francis Grady Apartments], so I filled it out. It was a lottery. And my case manager called me in the office and he was smiling. I’m like, ‘What are you smiling about?’ He hands me an envelope, and I was number 13 on the waiting list – lucky number 13. 

“I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ Out of everybody in the shelter that filled out the application I had the lowest number. I was so happy. Because until then I just knew I was going to be in that shelter for two or three years. My dad used to say, ‘Hang in there, something’s coming.’ So when I got that letter, I called my family right away. 
“When they called me and said that I got the apartment, I was so happy I cried. The day I moved in here, I woke up in the middle of the night and looked around, like, ‘Oh my God, I really have my own apartment. I can’t believe it.’ So the thing in my life I’m most proud of is myself for having a roof over my head. I’ve overcome a lot." 

- Annette Rascoe, Francis Grady Apartments Resident

Enterprise is proud to have partnered with Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation to renovate and redesign Francis Grady Apartments:

  • Equity: $5.1 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity (UnitedHealthcare was the investor)  
  • Transit Accessible: Francis Grady is a five-minute walk to the bus and a five-minute bus ride to the T, Boston’s subway line.  
  • Health & Housing: Enterprise has produced a series of reports showing how better housing improves health and saves money. 

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