LAVEEN, AZ — Sandra Muhammad of Laveen spent New Year's Day the same way she has for the past several months: looking for a place to live.
She is a licensed caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities who are wards of the state with no family or whose families have lost rights to them. For the past several years she has cared for two men and a woman ages 39, 23, and 20.
"You basically take care of them. Meds, doctor appointments, feed them, dress them, go shopping for them, you know, just like a parent," she said.
The landlord of the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house they share in Laveen, informed her that he intended to move his family back into the home. Since June Muhammad says she has been looking for a comparable place in her $2,000 per month price range.
"I'm still here, January 1, still looking for-- faithfully every day--some place that we can go and be comfortable," she told ABC15.
And comfortability is nearly as important as affordability for Muhammad and those that she cares for.
"I try to look for someplace where my clients can have some kind of open area. I have a bunch of rabbits, and I know that this is what calms them and they love to go back in the yard and play with the rabbits and just to look and point, you know, that sort of thing," she said.
But finding a house in her price range, with the space and proximity to their doctors, has been nearly impossible.
And when she does find one, Muhammad says they are gone quickly.
"By the time I say 'oh yeah I like this one' there's an application already on it. Somebody got the place," she said.
It's a months-long cycle that will soon end one way or another. Muhammad is just hoping it concludes with a comparable house for all of them to call home.
"You know, if it was just me, I could go anywhere. I could be in a little apartment. But I'm, you know, it's not just me. I have other people depending on me, " she said.