Beyond the Stereotype of Affordable Housing


In a world where stereotypes often dictate our perceptions, Len’s story stands as a powerful testament to the resilience and strength found within affordable housing communities. His journey challenges preconceived notions, inviting us to rethink what it means to find home in the face of adversity.

Embracing Uncertainty

Len was born and raised in the heart of Arizona, nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Flagstaff. His journey began with dreams of athletic achievement when he journeyed to the Valley on a football scholarship. However, fate had a different game plan. A devastating knee injury dashed his hopes of a football career, leaving him adrift and searching for purpose.

Undeterred by adversity, he embarked on a new path, diving into entrepreneurship. Just as he was gaining traction, life took a turn when he and his wife got divorced. To maintain joint custody of his daughters, he gave her the franchise he had worked hard to build.

Rebuilding a Life

Len began building himself up from scratch once again as a business owner. It was hard work, but he finally started to see progress and make a name for himself. Late in his career, he unexpectedly got sick. Len’s doctor diagnosed him with stage one kidney disease. Six months later, it had progressed to stage four. His kidney transplant was followed 7 months later by a knee replacement. For a while, life felt consumed by one bought of bad news after another. Thankfully, ACCHS covered the medical bills, and thankfully, he instilled his “never give up” attitude in his daughter. She was on the phone and doing paperwork for 6 months to get Len on disability.

Amidst the turbulence, the quest for affordable housing proved to be  the next daunting challenge. Combing through an inch thick list of affordable housing, and making over 240 calls, Len was beginning to lose hope.

Finally, on call 241, Len heard a friendly voice at the end of the line… 

Len with FSL Regional Property Manager, Scott VanSoest

A New Beginning

The friendly voice at the end of the line was Scott VanSoest, an FSL team member who has supported thousands of community members find quality housing since 1986. Guided by Scott’s support, Len found himself at Sweetwater Gardens, a haven of tranquility that defied all expectations. Far from the stereotypical image of affordable housing, Sweetwater Gardens offered single-story casitas adorned with breathtaking mountain views—a sanctuary of peace and community.

When I first got to Sweetwater Gardens I thought, 'Wow, do I have the right address? This place looks like it should be in Scottsdale!'
FSL Resident

Sweetwater Gardens: Breaking Stereotypes

Surrounded by nature’s beauty and embraced by a warm and welcoming community, Len found solace and belonging in this unexpected oasis. His experience at Sweetwater Gardens epitomizes the resilience and strength of individuals within affordable housing communities, challenging preconceived notions and celebrating the human spirit.

With organizations like FSL at the forefront, communities are empowered to thrive against all odds, transforming housing from brick and mortar into vibrant centers of hope and belonging.

Looking for quality housing with affordable rents? Check out FSL’s properties across Arizona today.

About FSL

Established in 1974, the Foundation for Senior Living is dedicated to providing integrated, customized care for those who need it in the Phoenix area. We offer a wide range of home- and community-based services, including:

All of these are designed to enable Arizonans of all ages to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. If you or someone you know is struggling to have their needs met, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you. And if you’re able, consider donating or volunteering your time to our mission. We can’t wait to work with you!

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