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.
With a newborn son and no place to go home to, Scott and Jenna Worthington found the St. Vincent De Paul Family Shelter just in the nick of time.
“He came a month early in February, February 12th, instead of March 15” Jenna said. “Kind of took us by surprise!”
The family welcomed baby Thoht into the world just three short months ago. While being new parents has been a fun and challenging learning process, those first weeks were overshadowed by an entirely different stress.
“There was no place I could bring my son home to,” Scott said. “So when he was born, I had to go, I had to do something.”
The couple was struggling with homelessness. After learning about the St. Vincent De Paul Family Shelter in Medford, Scott jumped at the chance for a room.
“Interestingly enough, this place had just been renovated and redone, and there was availability,” Scott said.
The family shares a tiny room with a bunk bed at the shelter, and couldn’t be happier. At the same time they are looking to get back out on their own.
They say a bump in their rental history has made it nearly impossible.
“We stayed there for over a year, paying half the rent,” Scott said.
The couple moved into a house, entering into an agreement with the tenant, but not the landlord. After a disagreement with their roommate, Scott says things took an ugly turn.
“It didn’t quite work out like he expected, when he told them about us, so we all got thrown out,” Scott said. “I kinda had to defend myself in court, and successfully did.”
Despite the peaceful resolution, the couple says finding housing has been tough ever since, even living in their truck at times.
“There’s a lot of stuff that comes available, but it seems like its, sometimes overly priced, and there’s about 20 other applicants applying for something,” Jenna said. “That’s if it’s not a scam to begin with.”
But their luck in housing may be changing; The couple recently drew the winning ticket for a chance to live at Patriot Station, new affordable housing just built in White City.
“They had a certain amount of each kind, two bedroom, one bedroom, three bedroom, and you know, a big long list of people who wanted it,” Scott said.
While they still have to go through the regular application process, it’s an opportunity they’re not taking for granted.
“We’re going through it,” Scott said. “We’re going to persevere and come out on top, and have a hopefully a brand new home for my son to live in and thrive in.”
The family is up for review at the shelter. The Patriot Station housing will be available in early June.
For more information on local resources that could help you or someone you love, visit soclosetohomeless.org.
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