On Friday, I went to visit Eunice Winchester. She's one of hundreds of thousands of people over the age of 50 who may lose their homes because of foreclosure. She lives in Anacostia — a short drive from NPR, and one of the poorer neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.
Her house is modest, to say the least. It feels as though the entire building could fit into the foyer of some of the mansions north of here. It has two floors and is made of brick and wood. She unlocks the black wrought iron storm door and we enter through a glassed-in porch. Eunice, 62, and her cousin built the porch and she loves it. With its hanging plants, a comfortable couch and small action figures on the window sills, this place is a haven for her. She can sit here in any season and watch the goings-on in the neighborhood.
Jessica Naudziunas, NPR
Eunice Winchester's kitchen.
You can immediately feel the love in this home where she raised her family. She talks about the Thanksgiving dinners she made — although how she was able to cook in a kitchen the size of a hall closet amazes me. There is no dishwasher, barely any counter space, and two people cannot fit between the stove on one wall and the salvaged wood cabinets on the other. Just by the way, she points out some of the improvements she's made — mirrored tile on the living room wall, shiny wood floors and brickwork where rotting wood used to be. You can tell she is very proud of this place.
She would not just lose her home if there was a foreclosure on her house. After meeting her, I think she would lose her heart and soul.
Eunice's story is typical of the many senior citizens who are facing foreclosure in these tough economic times. We're also working on a series about how the economic crisis is affecting middle-class Americans and their ability to feed their families. If you have a story to share with us, post it here.