Place residence

Amy Calder: For a young Waterville couple, nothing beats a house

Kevyn Warren says home is where your loved ones are.

And he acknowledges that it’s damn nice to have a physical place to live after being homeless for several months.

On Tuesday, I visited Warren, 28, and his longtime girlfriend, Anna Zinkovitch, 20, about an hour after moving into their new apartment in Waterville.

Anna Zinkovitch and Kevyn Warren had been homeless for several months until they moved into an apartment in Waterville on Tuesday with their cat, Buddy. Amy Calder / Morning Watchman

It didn’t take much work as they only had a few boxes of business, some blankets and their 2 year old black cat, Buddy.

“We don’t have a bed yet,” Zinkovitch said. “We’re just going to sleep on a bunch of blankets. Nancy will get us a futon.

She was referring to Reverend Nancy Findlan who, along with Reverend Maureen Ausbrook of the Starfish Village Ministry, helped the couple navigate the maze of homelessness, secure an affordable apartment and connect to social services. The Kennebec Valley Community Action Program also helped, and an anonymous donor contributed $500 toward rent.

I met Warren and Zinkovitch in September after they were evicted from another apartment in Waterville because their rent had gone up and they couldn’t afford it. Warren, who is disabled, earns $200 a week at a fast food restaurant, but has just found another job at a gas station and convenience store and expects to earn $600 a week now; Zinkovitch is hard of hearing which makes communication difficult and not working.

After losing their apartment last summer, they slept here and there on people’s couches, then moved into a tent in the woods near Water Street. When it got too cold, they connected with Ausbrook who took them under his wing. She and Findlan worked with KVCAP to help fund their stay at a local hotel.

“Nancy and I are thrilled to help Anna and Kevyn and their cat come out of homelessness into stable housing and start rebuilding their lives,” Ausbrook told me on Wednesday. “We will continue to work with them in other ways as well. KVCAP has been great to work with for so much of this process. This weekend, in collaboration with Starfish volunteers, we will help them furnish and fit out their new apartment.

Ausbrook said Warren and Zinkovitch are the third couple Starfish Village has moved into stable housing in the past six weeks, providing beds, bedding, towels, cooking utensils, furniture and other items. which have been given. Some families have children.

Warren and Zinkovitch’s three-room apartment is small, but it’s warm and clean. Located on the second floor of an old building, it has a narrow porch and a balcony overlooking a fenced backyard.

“I’m just grateful that we have an apartment,” Zinkovitch said. “It has been a long time.”

As she and Warren went from room to empty room on Tuesday, they appreciated the managers of Starfish and KVCAP helping them pay their first two months’ rent, which is $825 a month plus electricity and $35 for the cat, they said.

Being homeless has been stressful and they attribute that stress to Zinkovitch’s miscarriage this winter. Now that things have calmed down, they hope to one day get married and start a family.

“It’s really a relief, not just for me but for her and also for our cat, Buddy,” Warren said of getting a spot. “In my eyes, the house is Anna. Home is just a place. It’s just a place to lay your head. Home is where your loved ones are.

With that, he put on his winter coat and headed out into the cold to go to the Goodwill store downtown to buy something for the apartment.

“I have a lot of plans for this place,” he said. “I want to find an inexpensive grill and hang lots of little white Christmas lights all over the porch.”

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter for 33 years. His columns appear here on Saturdays. It can be attached to [email protected]. For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to centralmaine.com.


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