I have a four-plex in a low-income area, right behind a fast food establishment. The upstairs one-bedroom unit was available and a woman named Eureka came to apply. She worked the 4-12 midnight shift at the fast food place. She was in her mid-fifties, had two grown kids and was on her own.
Eureka took the bus to work every day. She’d been employed there for over a year … her rental house was on the other side of town, however, and when she got off at midnight, the buses had stopped running. So for the past year, she’d been walking home … a TWO hour trip on foot. Wow …
She loved the place and hoped to get it. I checked with her supervisor and current landlord — both gave good references — and when I called her later to tell her the good news, she burst into tears.
We met at the apartment to sign the lease, etc., before her shift started. It was 10 degrees that day. She told me she’d be coming there after work, rolling up her puffy winter coat to use as a pilow, and happily sleeping on her bedroom floor for the night. No more walking home.
As I reached out to shake her hand and tell her, “Welcome home,” she threw her arms around me and tearfully thanked me again.
And this, my friends, is one of the reasons I love my work. I didn’t make her day … she made mine. 🙂