One of the great pleasures we at WHCHC have is to meet and talk with our residents, and hear how their lives have been changed by being able to have affordable housing.
Maya is a pleasure to talk with, a bundle of positive energy and
interested in everything! Although she was born in Ukraine, she
lived much of her life (35 years) with her husband and family in
Riga, the capitol city of Latvia, a country in the Baltic region of
Northern Europe very near Finland and Sweden.
An English teacher for 27 years, Maya’s English is excellent, and
allows her to navigate through all the events and activities
available in West Hollywood and Los Angeles as if she were a
“Oh, I love to attend concerts at the County Museum on Wilshire, and enjoy theatrical activities, and take excursions when I can.”
After her retirement from teaching, Maya became a tour guide in Riga, meeting tourists and travelers from all over the world. Once the political climate in the former Soviet Union began to undergo dramatic change, Maya and her husband came to the United States to join her daughter and other relatives already here in 1998.
“I enjoy reading books, always in English, and watching English-speaking television, because now I am here, and my former life is in the past.” Maya is always ready to help her neighbors with English translation and information, when they are struggling with communicating in a foreign country--as many of us would likewise struggle if the tables were turned.
Maya was one of many who participated in WHCHC’s neighborhood meetings in the late ‘90s about Detroit Senior Apartments plans. Out of the thousands of applications, her name was drawn in the lottery. Never dreaming she would actually be able to live in one, Maya says “I couldn’t believe it when I got a call saying I had won the lottery!! I fell in love with my kitchen and my porch the very first time I walked in the door.”