Formerly homeless woman moves into new apartment ahead of Thanksgiving

There are many things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, food, clothing, and for some Austinites on this holiday, a new place to call home.

The past year has been tough for Lyndoria Body. "I have been living in shelters and off and on living out of my car. I left an abusive relationship last November," she said.

On countless nights, she found herself cold, alone, and vulnerable. but she still found the courage to keep a smile on her face.

"I would rummage through my clothes in the backseat and everybody always told me how cute I looked. They didn't know I had just grabbed something and shook it out," said Body.

When she found out Foundation Communities was opening applications for their new property, Laurel Creek, she took action. "That morning, I got up at 4:00 and I came and waited, and I was number four in line," said Body.

Shortly after she applied, she found out she was approved. Body moved into her new apartment just two days before Thanksgiving. She says too often, people may forget just how good they've got it.

"I had two friends both are in the church. They would let me come, shower and wash my clothes. Just a simple thing like being able to get in a tub of water, just simple things like that that people take for granted. I’ll never take things like that for granted again," said Body.

Body’s story is one of many similar stories throughout Austin, as housing becomes more and more expensive.

"Austin's gotten so expensive, even if you're making $15-$20 an hour, if you're trying to support a family, that's a tight budget," said Walter Moreau, executive director of Foundation Communities.

The 88 apartment unit is now fully leased, but Foundation Communities is working to help everyone who was left on the waitlist. For Body, this year's Thanksgiving is one that will fill both her stomach and her soul.

Laurel Creek was funded primarily through city housing bonds and other donors. Laurel Creek offers wraparound services, including childcare, a food pantry and literacy classes.

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