health care leave Boulder County’s

Roberta and Paul Fjeld pose for a portrait in their apartment in Longmont on Friday. The Fjelds worked with the Inn Between after they lost their home due to medical bills and Paul being unable to work.

Having grown up on a farm in New Hampshire during the Great Depression, Ruby Kulpa was never one to shy away from hard work. In fact, she had a full-time job from the time she was 12 until she was 74, often working hard labor in factories or transporting goods via semitruck.

However, after a slew of health problems plagued much of her family, her savings are gone. Now, with her rent in Longmont increasing on the first of the year, she’s unsure if she will be able to afford to stay in her home while living on a fixed income, roughly half of which goes toward insurance and medication.

“I’ve worked my entire life and all I have to show for it is a 10-year-old car,” she said. “It’s a lot of stress on my part and asking for help after years of being self-sufficient is very hard.”

Having moved to Longmont in 2016 so she could be closer to her doctors after she was diagnosed with cancer for the third time, Kulpa immediately put her name on the waiting lists for all of the subsidized housing projects and affordable senior centers in the area, but demand is high and she’s not sure her name has moved any closer to the top of those lists.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said. “There are a lot of new places being built, but they’re all so expensive. I may have to file for bankruptcy.”

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