Overcoming Challenges and New Year Success

Home Repair Grants Totaling $9 Million Over 6 Years

For the third year in a row, the 24:1 Community Home Repair Program has received $3 million in grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The funds will help Beyond Housing transform the physical environment by rehabbing existing homes and contribute to the well-being and staility of families who might otherwise be forced out of their homes due to the cost of needed repairs.

Thanks to the previous two grants totaling $6 million, Beyond Housing achieve its biggest year ever for home repairs in 2021. The new two-year grant will support repairs on another 150 homes and allow the program to expand into additional communities beyond the Normandy school district footprint, including Jennings and Berkeley—which means 2022 is on track to be even bigger than 2021.

The 24:1 Community Home Repair Program illustrates Beyond Housing’s commitment to strengthening families and neighborhoods. The cumulative impact extends from increasing local home values to boosting business opportunities for contractors—all of which aligns with Beyond Housing’s holistic model for community development.

Improving Health to be Ready for Spinal Cord Surgery

In January 2021, a participant in Beyond Housing’s health outreach program asked Community Health Worker Adeshia Sessions to go with her to a neurology appointment. In addition to challenges with hypertension and type 2 diabetes—which are among the most prevalent conditions within the communities we serve—this resident also had a spinal cord injury and a tumor on her brain. Her symptoms included intermittent seizures and paralysis that would strike with no notice.

Her doctor did not want to do surgery until her blood glucose and hypertension were under control. Ms. Sessions lined up a private nurse through our partner organization, Health Ministries, to help with the hypertension while she worked with the participant to secure health insurance through her husband’s job and enroll in a partnership program with Beverly Hills Pharmacy for glucose and test strips.

As a result of the participant’s hard work and perseverance, her glucose levels and hypertension declined by August 2021 to the point where her doctor felt comfortable scheduling surgery on her spinal cord. Remarkably, her medical team found that the brain tumor had shrunk and no longer needed medical intervention.

Support for Students and Families During Another Challenging School Year

Our Family Engagement Liaisons’ work within the Normandy Schools Collaborative happens mostly in the background, many may not realize the full scope of the services these Beyond Housing employees provide to students and families.

When they find out, it’s an eye opener—and we were reminded of this recently through a conversation Family Engagement Liaison Trinette Lashley of Lucas Crossing Elementary School had with a staff member in the district’s uniform store. “Ms Yvette, who works the store, asked me exactly what do FELs do,” Ms. Lashley recalled. “As I was explaining what the role is, a parent came in for uniforms. The parent was about to cry because she couldn’t afford to purchase extra uniforms. I asked Mom her son’s name and what school he attended. She told me was in first grade at Lucas Crossing.”

Ms. Lashley offered to wash his uniforms whenever Mom needed them. “She was so thankful and expressed how washing would help, because she has to go to the laundromat and her funds are low,” she said. “After Mom left, I looked at Ms. Yvette, smiled, and said, ‘This is what I and the other Family Engagement Liaisons do for our community, schools, and our babies.’”

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