Avalon’s Community Impact: 2018 and BeyondBy: Avalon Housing
Happy New Year!
This time of year serves as a wonderful opportunity for us to take stock of our community impact in 2018. It’s also a chance to look forward to what’s ahead.
Avalon’s achievements over the last year were many, but among them I thought I’d share some highlights:
– 115 more people moved from the streets into permanent, stable housing. We continue to maintain an exceptional housing retention rate at 93% across all of our programs.
– Avalon celebrated the grand opening of 17 fully renovated apartments in Chelsea along with our service partner, Faith In Action. We also acquired, renovated, and leased up 6 more units in Ann Arbor.
– We have a 70-unit development in the pipeline on South Maple in Ann Arbor and received all funding commitments for both phases of the project.
– Another cohort of Avalon clients restarted their careers as part of our innovative Supported Employment program. Some are my colleagues at Avalon now. It has been amazing to witness the transformative impact of this program.
-Avalon hosted our first-ever tenant art show and silent auction at our annual Home for Good event, where we showcased the works of 32 Avalon tenants and clients.
– We continue to address the intersection of housing and healthcare. Avalon was selected to participate in a statewide pilot through which an additional 25 frequent users of emergency health systems will obtain supportive housing.
– We’ve grown our dynamic staff to over 100 people, many of whom are pictured in our latest all-staff photo shown above.
-With the support of United Way, we were able to partner with the NEW Center and launch our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, focusing our initial efforts on advancing racial equity within the organization. See our brave vision for equity at Avalon here.
What’s ahead in 2019
For every new move-in, I’m reminded that it’s an absolute privilege to watch someone create a home for the first time in years. Their story is our story. With our innovative approach, we see time and again that a key means so much more than housing stability. It’s recovery, health, community, and kinship. All of us at Avalon eagerly assume a daily practice in complex problem solving that leads to the most resilient of outcomes. I am excited, alongside the talented and passionate staff at Avalon, to engage, house, and support more of our neighbors in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Chelsea in the coming year. With Hickory Way and Veridian at County Farm on the horizon, there is much excitement for the increase in collective impact ahead of us.