S.O. Close to Homeless: Part 21

Medford, Ore. — NBC5 News is partnering with Access to start a community discussion, and bring you an in-depth look into the lives of people who are homeless, have been homeless, or who are very close to it. In week 21, we’re meeting Dan and Mary Carver.

“I started going to bible study first for the bible study, then bible study and this cute guy,” Mary said.

The pair met at Set Free Christian Fellowship in 2009. One year later, they were married, and since then, they’ve been inseparable. But in the last eight years, their road together has been a bumpy one.

“She’s a cancer survivor, she’s deaf, she’s got a BAHA implant, she’s got a rod in her head, that’s how she hears,” Dan explained.

While Dan is Mary’s constant support, he’s living with his own health struggles.

“Two back surgeries, my shoulders are shot,” Dan said.

But those aren’t the only hurdles the couple have faced together. They’ve been homeless for a year and a half.

“Everybody wants a roof,” Dan said. “And there’s a lot of people out there fighting for it.”

The couple says they lost their house after unknowingly violating their lease. It happened when they let neighbors stay with them, after losing their own rental.

“I felt bad for them, and I told them they could come over, and I told them they could come in, and they came in,” Dan said.

The two-day stay that Dan and Mary offered to the couple turned into more than a month.

“They took over our lives,” Mary said.

When their landlord found out, they were evicted.

“Mary’s got a therapy dog, and she wouldn’t part with the therapy dog,” Dan explained. “I ended up at the Domiciliary in White City, I’m a veteran, so I proceeded to get myself help, and she rented a room from a friend, and then when that fell apart, she was on her own on the street.”

Dan joined her, and the two stayed at a warming shelter for a time. Since then, Dan’s social security kicked in. With that money, and Mary’s disability income, they now bring in $1,800  a month.

Access has committed to cover the couple’s deposit on a new place, and they have money saved for rent.
But Dan says they’re running into one problem

“There’s no place to rent, you know, there’s no availability, that we can see,” Dan said. “We put in apps everywhere, and it’s just a hard thing.”

The eviction on their record is another struggle the couple is dealing with.

“I don’t think there’s any more trust, no body trusts anybody anymore,” Dan said. “They don’t believe they’re going to get paid”

In the meantime, they’re staying at a motel on Riverside avenue. But the cost is steep — $1,200, more than half their monthly budget, has gone to their room this month.

“It’s week by week here, and it’s okay for now,” Dan said. “But it’s not going to last.”

The unknowns of where they’re going to live and when they’ll find it worry the couple. But through this experience, they’ve found one thing to be true.

“You just keep on going,” Dan said. “Just take it as it comes, you know, you don’t know what’s around the corner, but what was around the corner wasn’t so bad, we could get through it.”

To learn more about local resources available for those struggling with homelessness, click here.

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