Safe housing nearly impossible to find for ‘very low income’ renters

Elizabeth Rever came to the Ozarks a few months ago with the hope that she could “better herself,” as she puts it.

Rever has multiple health problems and relies on a walker. With daily exercise, she is determined to ditch the walker eventually and be able to use a cane.

Almost every morning 63-year-old Rever catches the bus across from Safe to Sleep, an overnight shelter for homeless women, and heads to the YMCA to swim and use water therapy to move and exercise.

Then she usually heads to the Library Station where she can search the internet and make calls to landlords and property management companies as she tries to find a more permanent home.

Rever, who gets more than $1,300 a month in Social Security Disability benefits, since April has been working diligently with Safe to Sleep’s guest advocate Jessica Luraas to find an affordable rental.

Elizabeth Rever searches for apartments on a computer at the Library Station on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

But it seems there’s nothing currently available in Rever’s price range that she can access with her walker.

“I’ve called every apartment on this list,” Rever said, flipping through the pages-long list of landlords that Luraas gave her. “It’s depressing because I can’t find anything.”

“Everything that would be suitable for me is full and has a long waiting list,” Rever said, adding that her credit score isn’t great due to recent medical bills.

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