Maria lives in an NHA affordable rental community. After surviving domestic violence by her husband she was left alone to care for her two young boys. Maria had no income and her youngest son needed surgery. She was scared and didn’t know how she would provide for her family.

That’s when Maria decided to contact a member of NHA’s Resident Services team, who quickly helped her secure short-term rent and utility assistance. This support made it possible for Maria and her family to stay in their home. Resident Services staff provided Maria with a referral to Los Niños Cuentan for culturally specific domestic violence support, and helped her look for a job.

When Maria learned that she would not have to worry about losing her home; that she would have time to rebuild her family; that she would have funding for her electrical and water bills while she looked for a job – she cried.

Maria’s family remains stable in their housing, both sons are healthy, and she has begun working. What felt like an impossible situation became a time of change and growth – all due to Maria’s hard work and perseverance.

The NHA Resident Services (RS) program directly supports people and families who live in NHA properties. Most of our residents are living on extremely low and often fixed incomes. Providing the resources and guidance to ensure every person can lead a safe and healthy life is a value that we hold dear. This work exemplifies the mission of NHA, to provide opportunity through housing.

RS staff responded to 8,475 requests for assistance in 2016 — 57% of these requests were related to health and wellness. This includes physical resources such as food and diapering supplies as well as more direct assistance, like insurance navigation, scheduling medical appointments, arranging medical transportation, and assisting with physical mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs.

In addition to coordinating access to services, RS staff help residents avoid and respond to lease violations that may eventually lead to eviction. In 2016, RS staff intervened 611 different times to help ensure NHA tenants retained safe, affordable housing.

Resident Services Coordinators organized 720 events at properties in 2016 – 60 events per month. In sum, 7,000 people attended these events, most of which are recurring classes or workshops hosted by community volunteers or partner organizations. Classes on computer basics, financial literacy, and low-impact group exercise occur throughout the year. Homework clubs for school-aged children are also conducted as several family properties.