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Tenant Story: Meet Brieann

At 75 years old, Brieann has lived all over the country and even the world. But she couldn’t be happier about where she’s landed in her retirement: a townhome at The Landings at Winmore.

Brieann moved into The Landings about 11 years ago. She had been forced to retire from her career teaching phlebotomy and EKG because of several injuries: a double knee replacement after she was injured working at a blood drive after 9/11 in New York City, a double hip replacement, and a broken neck among them. When she first visited The Landings, she was offered an upstairs apartment, but she wasn’t able to take it because of the stairs. So she put her name on the waitlist for a downstairs unit, and four months later, her home became available. And she’s never thought about moving since.

“I love The Landings,” says Brieann. “It’s perfect for me as a retired person. I find it quiet, I find it very peaceful for me, and I’ve enjoyed the friendship of not only the residents that live next to me in the townhomes, but also some of the homeowners that live in front of me. This apartment has a beautiful view of the forest behind me, and it’s just the perfect place for me to sit out in the afternoon. I can watch deer, fox, rabbits, squirrels — I’ve even seen a turtle out there. It’s a pleasure for me to just sit out on the back porch and enjoy it.”

Brieann has been especially grateful for the recent upgrades at The Landings that have made it easier for her to stay healthy during the pandemic. Thanks to a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, many of the units have received upgraded floors, lighting, and stoves. “The improvements that have been made over here thanks to the grant have improved my quality of life so much. Especially with COVID-19 going on, the flooring has made life much better for me. It’s easier to clean than the carpet that was in here before, and for health purposes alone that’s so important. It has meant peace of mind for me because of the ease of cleaning the floors. I really appreciate the fact that they’ve given me the opportunity to have a better life. And the lighting in the kitchen has been a blessing and a half!” says Brieann.

Brieann isn’t just a tenant at The Landings; she’s also a member of the Tenant Advocacy Committee, or TAC. She joined the TAC when it was first formed almost three years ago because she saw an opportunity to support her neighbors and share her free time to help make improvements in the community she loves so much. She says that at first, there was a lot of work to do as the liaison between tenants and the property management company, but her neighbors know her well enough to knock on her door or give her a call, and that made it possible for her to help pretty quickly. Now, she says the system works much more smoothly: “Now we have a management group in here that wants to help, and I really see the difference.”

She also appreciates the opportunity the TAC affords her to help plan events for her neighbors, and she looks forward to a time when they are able to get back to movie nights and social events in the community room. In the meantime, she’s helped come up with ideas like an onsite vaccine clinic for residents, which will hopefully happen soon.

When she’s not enjoying the retreat-like atmosphere of her porch or meeting with neighbors or TAC members, Brieann loves spending time with her great nieces and nephews who live in Durham. Brieann’s own children were killed in a car accident when they were teenagers, and she says her niece and nephew and their kids are like her own children and grandchildren — and she can’t get enough of them. The kids are 18, 16, 14, and 18 months old — and there’s a new baby on the way, too. She sees her family every week, if not multiple times a week, and says the kids provide her with so much joy and activity.

“At this time of life, you enjoy the simple things. You try to take it easy, and being over here has provided me with a comfort and a place to live where I can enjoy these things.”