365 Days of COVID-19: AHC’s Resident Services Team Pivots to Meet the Challenge

(March 15, 2021 – Arlington, VA) A year ago, AHC Inc., like most organizations, had to shutter its in-person activities in response to the fast-moving pandemic. At the same time, as a nonprofit affordable housing organization, AHC had to quickly switch gears to respond to new and accelerating needs among the children, families and seniors living in the organization’s affordable apartment communities in Maryland and Virginia.

Thanks to a committed and determined Resident Services team, AHC was able to spring into action to help residents weather the challenges of the pandemic. “In the midst of everchanging protocols and chaos, our team was able to pivot to provide life-giving work this past year,” said Susan Davidson, AHC Resident Services Director. “These efforts brought  joy, relief, and much hope to families facing incredible adversities.”

In the last year, AHC’s Resident Services staff members connected with more than 3,000 residents. This included thousands of outreach and follow-up phone calls to more than 1,000 households struggling with rental delinquencies.  Through hours and hours of one-on-one work, AHC’s team helped access $2,963,374 in rental assistance funds for residents – an immeasurable relief for struggling families. AHC Inc. was also able to help 530 households with gift cards through the organization’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“We’ve always known our Resident Services team excels in connecting community services to those who need them most,” said Jennifer Endo, Community Relations Vice President. ” The pandemic has underscored the value of that role.”

Additional Resident Services’ support during the last year includes:

Fighting hunger

  • Increased food distribution sites from six to 26 communities to provide 2,000 households with much-needed food.
  • Delivered groceries to the doorstep of 20+ households in quarantine.
  • Involved 113 volunteers to help with food distributions.

Maintaining educational opportunities

  • Provided 5,000+ virtual sessions with students including Afterschool Programs, Summer Camp, Teen Tutoring, and College & Career Readiness Workshops.
  • Thanks to generous donor support, 960 AHC students across Maryland and Virginia received backpacks.
  • 31 high school seniors (Class of 2020) graduated and are enrolled in post-secondary education.  They received $1.2 million in scholarship awards. 31 additional seniors (Class of 2021) applied to 194 colleges and universities and to date have received 80 acceptances.
  • 65 residents participated in virtual financial literacy workshops in Arlington and Baltimore.
  • 260 volunteers provided support to elementary and teen students.

Building health

  • Distributed 1,200 masks to children and adults.
  • 140 residents received COVID testing onsite
  • 144 seniors received COVID vaccines in their community room.
  • 4 pop-up vaccination registrations were held at AHC’s apartment communities in Arlington
  • Helped 697 residents (primarily seniors) stay engaged through new resident communiations platform, Resident-Connect.

Connecting to community

  • AHC staff helped coordinate generous community support throughout the pandemic, including distributing 4,000 snack bags to students and families, 135 cozy blankets to students in Arlington’s education program, 600 new winter coats and 400 books to children in Virginia and Maryland, 500 activity bags for senior residents, 47 holiday trees, and 900 gift bags to students and senior residents over the holidays.