Tell us about your background and past experiences?
I graduated from VCU with a degree in Public Relations. I interned with the Hilliard House and focused on nonprofit fundraising while in college. I have a very diverse background with experience ranging from nonprofit housing to banking. I was even a substitute teacher for a brief time. Before coming to HRHA, I was the Resident Services Coordinator for the Petersburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
What do you do and why do you find it rewarding?
I am thrilled that I get to combine my professional skills and talents with my desire to help individuals. I truly enjoy the community relations as part of my job, because it benefits both our agency and the hundreds of families that live in our communities.
The mission of the HRHA Resident Services Department is to ensure that all residents are aware of, and have access to, services and activities to improve and enhance their quality of life. I am responsible for providing all of those activities and programs for residents in our public housing communities – and rely heavily on partnerships with organizations within the community to help me achieve this. I have worked very hard to make the community aware that we want to be an active partner within the Hopewell and Crater region.
What lessons have you learned?
I have learned in my position that it takes a significant amount of time for a community to trust you. You can put weeks or even months into putting a program together and have no participants show up. Change requires time and commitment even if you don’t see immediate results. It is important that I keep trying and celebrate small successes while I hope for even greater accomplishments.
What are you especially proud of?
I am responsible for grant writing and successfully received full fundraising for a 2012 HUD Family-Self Sufficiency proposal I submitted. It was our agency’s first award for this program and we’re all very excited. The program provides individual case management and referral services to 25 families for up to a five year period. Upon completion of the program, families should achieve self-sufficiency and be free of public assistance.
And what’s next?
We also successfully completed the application process to redevelop Langston Park and Kippax Place in Hopewell. I am looking forward to being a part of this process because it will provide increased affordable housing and employment opportunities for the citizens of Hopewell.