Maria is a grandmother living alone for the first time in her life

Meet Maria

For many years, Maria worked in the fields to earn a living. After immigrating to the United States from Mexico in the mid-1990s, she put down roots in Arizona and continued working fields to provide for herself and her family. When the company she had been working for closed its doors in 2001, Maria decided it was time for a change.

For the next 15 years, Maria focused her attention on her grandchildren while living with one of her three daughters. She enjoyed watching her grandkids grow, but as they got older they didn’t need the same care anymore. Life changed again for Maria, and she moved into Mercy Housing’s Vista Alegre community in 2016.

MariaVista Alegre is in Glendale, AZ and provides housing for very low-income seniors. It has allowed Maria to live independently, in a place where she feels stable and supported. She takes pride in living alone and being able to provide for herself on her own accord.

“My life is quieter. I am more independent. I had never lived alone but had lived with family or others. I had to get used to living alone for the first time,” Maria said about her transition to Vista Alegre. And although life is less hectic since moving in, she’s enjoying this new phase and loves the many resources available to her.

The different services that are offered at Vista Alegre are what Maria values most. “I love everything about living here. I value all the services. Because of the many resources, I am able to be independent. I don’t have to depend on my daughter or any other family. The services help me provide for myself. I am able to find the resources I need.”

Some of the resources Maria enjoys most are the exercise and nutrition classes. Both Salud Con Sabor Latino (health with a Latino focus) and D.E.E.P. (Diabetes Empowerment Education Program) are taught in Spanish here and have helped Maria learn more about managing her diabetes and eating healthy.

While Maria likes her independence, she doesn’t shy away from helping those around her and impacting the lives in her community. And the staff are the first to jump in and give praise for the kindness Maria shows to everyone she meets.

Julie, the Resident Service Coordinator at Vista Alegre, knows Maria well and values the positive energy she brings to the property. “She has a fantastic attitude and will often go and knock on her neighbors’ doors to ask them to attend things with her. She greets all other residents with a smile.”

This can be seen through a special friendship Maria has developed with a new resident that recently moved to the property who only speaks Korean. While the two women don’t share the same language, Maria is always quick to include the new resident in morning walks and other group activities. A simple smile and wave to make a new face feel welcome—this is the true essence of Maria.

“This is a very unique place for me to be living at this age. I am enjoying my life more now than I ever have before. I love it here. I am thankful that I live at Vista Alegre.”