Last year’s impact and what’s aheadBy: Avalon Housing
Happy New Year!
It would be an understatement to say that 2017 was an exciting year for Avalon. While we celebrated our 25th anniversary, our founding director, Carole McCabe, transitioned on to new adventures as I stepped up to this new adventure. We completed a strategic planning process with staff, clients, and stakeholders and laid a road map for our work over the next three years. In addition to all these changes, Avalon accomplished a lot in the last year. Here are just some of the highlights:
– We housed 178 more individuals and are maintaining a 93% housing retention rate. We’re now serving over 750 people across the county.
– We increased the stock of housing that Avalon owns and operates with the addition of 17 units in Chelsea and 12 more units in Ann Arbor.
– We started master leasing to offer up more options to those we serve who are living in the private landlord market.
– We launched a new brand and a new website, which I hope you’ve checked out!
– We launched our first Supported Employment program, as part of a competitive SAMHSA CABHI grant we acquired.
– We’ve increased our Peer Support capacity, greatly improving our service delivery
– Our VOCAL (Voices of Community Advocates and Leaders) program graduated two cohorts
– We started providing services to the Ypsilanti Housing Commission at the New Parkridge apartments
– We became a case management provider to the Mental Health Court, providing services to them in partnership with CMH.
– We are one of several community agencies piloting the SIM (State Innovation Model) intervention, bridging the gap between the healthcare and social service sector
– We’ve grown our staff to almost 100 people!
So, what’s ahead in 2018?
When I look at our latest staff photo, shown above, I’m so excited to work with this diverse group of committed, amazing people!
We’ll continue to house and support more people in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Chelsea. We’ll also work towards increasing our community’s affordable housing stock, with two major development opportunities on the horizon. We’ll host a series of events to engage community members in our mission, starting with an art show that will feature works by Avalon clients.
I’m honored and thrilled to continue building on the work of this remarkable organization in this new role. As Joel, one of our staff members, says: “Avalon is motivated by idealism, integrity, and purpose. I am inspired by the people I work with. And I am enriched by the residents that we get to know. Being part of Avalon is a gift. I believe that we’re repairing the world.”
By Aubrey Patiño, Executive Director