The Mission Housing Development Corporation Resident Services team left to right: Martín Ugarte, Associate Director of Resident Services; Marceline Rounds, Resident Services Coordinator; Chirag Bhakta, Community Engagement Coordinator; Karla Perez, Resident Services Coordinator; Thomas Caulk, Resident Services Coordinator II; Shanita Gardner, Resident Services Coordinator; Aaron Bustamante, Community Outreach Associate; Marcía Contreras, Director of Resident Services. Not pictured: Veronica Green, Community Associate Director at Valencia Gardens, and Marcos De La Fuente, Resident Services Coordinator. Photo by Tony Bear!
Resident Services Coordinators: providing one-on-one case management, delivering quality-of-life enhancement to tenants
The Resident Services Coordinators of Mission Housing assess daily how to best deliver free and voluntary on-site social services — quality-of-life enhancements to our residents, and provide a vibrant, safe and affordable way of living. Some of the services provided in addition to one-on-one, in-house case-management:
Residents can be challenged to hold onto their affordable housing while managing out-of-pocket costs. Resident Services Coordinators help residents access many basic needs resources: help with rent payments, home energy assistance, access to food pantries, food and transportation subsidies and more. Eviction prevention counseling is also available to help residents stay sheltered during hardship times.
Referrals to health resources
The psychiatric and medical well-being of Mission Housing residents is vital to thriving communities. Resident Services Coordinators help tenants access a variety of no-cost and low-cost preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic resources. Also, Resident Services staff hosts frequent health resource fairs and health education workshops. People from surrounding neighborhoods make use of these resources at low- or no-cost.
Keeping multi-lingual residential communities informed and engaged is important. Resident Services Coordinators give particular focus to monolingual families and seniors by providing translation services during one-on-one or community meetings, or even by translating mail.
Crisis de-escalation and resolution
Harmonious living can be a challenge to achieve and maintain in a diverse community. Resident Services Coordinators provide mediation services, hear grievances, and work hard to prevent escalation of situations between residents. Our special needs population also includes individuals with mental illness. Mission Housing staffers are trained in how to prevent encounters with these residents from becoming disruptive, problematic or dangerous.
Mission Housing residents are stabilized and empowered to one day move out of affordable housing when their financial well-being is ensured. Resident Services Coordinators facilitate educational workshops and counseling on budgeting, the importance of saving, goal-setting, building credit history, fraud prevention, and more. Residents are exposed to other potential housing opportunities through first time home buyer programs and homeownership counseling.
Mission Housing residents attend regular nutrition education classes and cooking demonstrations coordinated by Resident Services. The classes are conducted by staff from area food banks and other food delivery partner agencies. The goal is to help residents achieve a lifetime of good health by learning how to cook healthy, tasty food, learning how to shop on a budget, and understanding the importance of nutrients.
When Mission Housing residents compete for high-paying jobs the economic stability and prosperity of our communities is enhanced. Resident Services Coordinators facilitate annual job fairs and work with various partners to provide job readiness coaching and employment opportunities for residents. Some partner programs help match resident skills to the needs of employers in the surrounding community.
Resident leadership development and community engagement
Resident Services Coordinators encourage Mission Housing tenants to become leaders in their own communities. Residents join tenant councils or volunteer as facilitators during onsite activities. Our residents often work along side partner organizations that are delivering resources on-site. The Mission Housing Community Engagement staff organizes Mission Housing tenants around the most pressing issues in their neighborhoods. This helps raise awareness, and educates and empowers tenants.
Social and recreational activities
A regular calendar of various social and recreational activities helps keep residents engaged, promotes self-sufficiency and a healthy standard of living. Resident Services Coordinators plan and execute events such as: BBQs, year-end celebrations, pot lucks, and coffee hours. Staff facilitates the use of donated tickets that give Mission Housing residents no-cost access to sporting events and local attractions.