More affordable housing is being built in Los Angeles. It will be located at 837 West 82nd Street and be made of old shipping containers, but it only puts a small dent in a massive need for affordable rental homes.
For those who can find opportunities like this, it’s life changing.
Elsie Sanfield loves her two-year-old granddaughter Raiden. They get to spend a lot of time together nowadays. Just a few years ago this would have been impossible.
Sanfield was homeless for five years. She also spent time in prison. Now she has an apartment, furniture, and even bottles for Raiden.
Sanfield has three grandchildren. She helps her only son by looking after his kids.
It’s a big change from when the mother-son pair were both homeless.
Sanfield now lives in Mosaic Gardens at Westlake. Since it’s affordable housing, she only pays a fraction of the rent out of her own pocket.
Living situations like this are rare. At the same time, the median rent in Los Angeles increased nearly 30 percent since 2000 according to the California Housing Partnership.
Having reliable housing changed everything for Sanfield. She says her family has a habit of leaving. Her own mom left when she was little. She herself essentially left her son when she was serving a prison sentence. He was on the streets alone.
Now she feels like she’s making amends .
“Most of my house is full of children’s stuff. What do you want from me, okay, I’m somebody’s grandmother, you know it makes up for me never being a parent I get to be a grandparent,“ said Sanfield.
Sanfield’s caseworker helped her get her transcripts so she could start taking classes. She wants to learn more about autism because one of her grandsons is autistic.
Wanting to do right by her family got her this far. She’s not satisfied with good enough. She’ll keep bettering herself because of her grandkids.