HOPE in ACTION
Building Resilience, Renewing Hope in 2021
As many of us begin to experience COVID fatigue, Hope through Housing has continued to address the emerging needs of our children, families, and seniors, providing critical support as they endure and move beyond the pandemic. We are so grateful for the support of our partners and the commitment of our team as we continue to invest in the future and well-being of our children, families, and seniors.
Building Bright Futures
Hope through Housing continues to help our children and youth succeed in school and beyond, providing computers, offering a safe space to do their homework and socialize, and empowering parents to advocate for their children.
Pathways to Economic Empowerment
Our team at Hope through Housing is working with families to secure rental assistance, helping residents who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic find work, and providing housing stability by offering virtual financial counseling and assistance.
Connections to Care
For our seniors, Hope through Housing is ensuring that they have access to vaccines, that they remain safe and food secure, as we work towards reinstating onsite programming for health and overall well-being.
Because of the pandemic, Hope through Housing is committed to providing an outlet for tele-education, telemedicine, and telework for our children, families, and seniors to help bridge the gap in educational attainment, health, and income caused by the digital divide.
Delivering Hope at the Holidays
A message from Hope through Housing President Greg Bradbard
As I walked through the halls of this affordable senior housing community delivering hot meals and holiday gifts, I witnessed something very special. It was more than the smiles on the faces of every senior we met. It was the conversations in the hallway between the site staff as we moved from door to door.
I remember it was a Thursday morning in the midst of another stay-at-home order due to the rise of COVID cases in the Los Angeles region. We were there to offer just a bit of hope and normalcy; many of the seniors in this community live alone and have limited contact with anyone other than their neighbors. Thanks to a partnership with the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, we had rolling carts packed with a hot holiday meal which included ham with all the trimmings, a mini poinsettia, and fresh cookies. Along with the meal each senior received a special note provided by local students to provide a little holiday cheer.
As we walked from one apartment home to the next, I started to overhear our team’s comments about each resident as we approached the door. Before knocking, the onsite team – community manager, resident services technician, and services coordinator — would have a variation of the following conversations:
“Is she home? I think that she is back from the hospital now.”
“I know that he is here in the building – he was just doing his laundry.”
“We can leave it outside the door. Their son will be visiting, and he can bring it in for his parents.”
“She may be sleeping. She has a cough and a sore throat.”
“Let us leave an extra meal here for her caregiver. She also could use the meal.”
I was in awe. I quickly realized that this amazing team of Doug, Jose, and Natashka knew every resident in the building by name. They knew their needs, preferences, and limitations. And they cared. It was evident.
This is the heart of what National CORE and Hope through Housing do. We are people helping people who need us. We are there for our residents and are often their only source of support. We help them build a place to call home, creating a community that empowers greater emotional and physical well-being.
This is a special place and today just demonstrated the truth of that statement. I commend every one of our employees and partners for caring so deeply about our residents, especially in such a challenging time as right now.
Helping Teens Stay Engaged and Connected
Hope through Housing recently launched its “Teen Clubs” as a way to provide a resource and peer support system for the youth living in National CORE affordable housing communities. It is our goal to help our teens move to adulthood with critical life management skills, academic and career success, and the self-confidence to make decisions and overcome obstacles.
Youth who participate in the Teen Clubs help with recruitment, collaborate with the Hope through Housing’s team to plan and lead activities, and contribute to a culture of wellness and engagement in their community. The Teen Clubs are designed to create a safe space that promotes inclusivity and expression.
The Teen Clubs have been well received by our youth and reinforce the need to provide this type of programming. The teen years can be stressful, and with the added impact of the pandemic, teens are much more likely to be experiencing isolation, depression, and loneliness. Providing an outlet and resource is critical. One of our participants recently commented, “I love Teen Club because I get to talk about my feelings, and I come after school to cheer myself up when I’m feeling sad.”
The program focuses on three objectives: (1) health and wellness; (2) life and work skills; and (3) academic and career success and activities include (a) teambuilding; (b) STEAM activities; (c) interactive demonstrations, ranging from cooking classes to stress management workshops; (d) community services project; (e) mentorship; and (f) guest speakers and webinars.
To learn more about Hope through Housing’s Building Bright Futures initiative, please visit https://hthf.org/what-we-do/building-bright-futures/.
Zander’s Story of Resilience
Written by HealthCorps, Inc. Program Coordinator Jasmine Martinez
This last year has been difficult and unexpected for many of us, and teens are no exception. For Zander, a 15-year-old living at one of National CORE’s affordable housing communities in Montclair, California, navigating a worldwide pandemic has been quite a journey, all while also starting his first year of high school.
Zander is an only child and is comfortable with being on his own, but one thing he has missed the most during quarantine is going out and meeting new people. That is why Zander decided to join the Teen Club, led by HealthCorps in partnership with Hope through Housing – to socialize more and get to know more people in his community. Being part of Teen Club has “definitely helped mainly due to the fact that it reminds me that people still exist. I also wanted help with my social skills.”
Zander also has been on his own health journey for some time and says that one of his goals is to lose weight and become a healthier person overall. “For me, Teen Club has been helpful, especially the stress conversations and learning how negative stress affects us physically and mentally. I have learned to cope by listening to music and doing my favorite things like playing video games. I also learned to use stress to motivate myself.” After having a rocky first semester, Zander has prioritized his efforts on maintaining his grades and staying organized. He also is taking what he has learned from Teen Club to implement healthier behaviors in his and his family’s daily life.
Zander’s mom shared that as a family, they have been trying to eat fewer carbs. “Zander surprised me and told me before I went to the grocery store, ‘if you are going to get bread, make sure to get whole wheat. There are more nutrients, and it makes us feel fuller longer because it’s digested slower.” This was after one Teen Club session on the digestive system and the nutritional differences between white and wheat bread. This was one of Zander’s favorite sessions because it was very hands-on and could be easily applied to his life. Since the pandemic, Zander’s mom has seen a huge change in him. “He’s getting to know himself more this year and has found a great love for engineering, cars, and hands-on activities. He’s also getting more into being healthy, eating right, and working out.” Zander and his family are currently on week two of living a healthier lifestyle and mom says he is the one to keep everyone accountable to stay on track with their goals.
When asked to share some words of wisdom for anyone who may be having a hard time during this pandemic, Zander said “do things that you love and find new hobbies – use this time to learn something about yourself, your family, or something new in general so you’re not at home on the couch doing nothing and going insane. Be productive.”
HOPE IN ACTION
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