Interview 13: Valerie
August 27, 2020
Stress self-rating: 5
1 = no stress, 5 = extremely stressed
Living with extended family
since the pandemic
Currently not working
House Type
Single storey single family home
Approx. 800 sf
2 Bed + 1 Bath
Year Built Unknown, Asbestos
Household Size:    7
2 Children                
5 Adults                    
Persons Per Room  1.75

Prior to the pandemic, Valerie was homeless and living out of her van for about one year, along with her four children between the ages of 12 and 22. She had been displaced from her previous home by Hurricane Harvey. During the pandemic, Valerie moved into her brother and sister-in-law’s 2-bedroom single family home. However, her brother and sister-in-law’s recent separation created stress during lockdown. Living spaces often felt cramped, with Valerie’s family of 5 sharing one bedroom and all household members sharing a single bathroom. Many maintenance issues with the house also caused problems at home: an exposed pipe leaks from the living room ceiling, an exposed gas water heater is hazardously located in the bathroom, the back door is broken, allowing pests in to enter, and inadequate AC causes the entire house to overheat.