In 2002 Denise Brisco’s goal was to eventually move to San Diego after having lived in the Central San Joaquin Valley all her life. She had raised two children as a single parent since they were ages five and seven. Her son, who graduated from UCSD, decided that he would make his home in San Diego once he completed law school. Her daughter was already living in Los Angeles.
Denise had a government job in a small town with a population of approximately 40,000. She was preparing to apply for a position for the State of California and continue working in the same area then eventually transfer to San Diego. However, she started to experience some concerning health issues which made her plan to move more complicated.
From 2005 thru July of 2007 Denise was on and off temporary disability. She struggled to continue to work, and went to specialist after specialist to determine what was wrong in order to start treatment. In 2007, she was diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease, which was incurable and progressing. There were no options but to take disability retirement.
Her income drastically decreased by nearly half in addition to having the added expense of high insurance premiums. Despite this, she still wanted to move to San Diego. In 2010, when her first grandchild was 9 months old she decided it was time to make that move in order to be closer to her family.
Her son and his family lived in the 4S/Ranch area. However, in 2010 there were not many options for apartments. Denise found a nice place in Escondido for $724/month but after the first years’ lease the rent increased to nearly $1,000/month.
During her search for a different place to live, Denise stumbled upon an Affordable Housing Complex off Dove Canyon Road by accident. The manager of the apartment complex had to explain Affordable Housing to her. Denise thought that she would be ineligible because of her 401K pension, however, the property manager encouraged her to apply anyway. Denise filled out the application, gathered all the necessary documentation and submitted her application. When the manager told her that she qualified she cried. Denise would have to be placed on a waiting list which could take approximately two years before a unit became available.
Denise researched Affordable Housing on the Internet and found another company with complexes in the area. She visited one of the many complexes this company had and the property manager gave her a list of all the properties in San Diego. Denise applied for about five different apartment complexes within a 15-mile radius to her son’s home. She was fortunate to get into a family complex within 6 months of applying and later moved into Fairbanks Square, a complex for Seniors 55+, where Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation provides services.
It has been wonderful for Denise to watch her grandchildren grow and create memories with them. Living close to them allows her the opportunity to attend their school functions and after school activities. Their love for her, and hers for them, gives her the strength to endure the complications from her health issues.
Denise can rest assured that family is only five minutes away when her autoimmune flares up and needs assistance.