Ellie Lindhjem, Service Coordinator Manager for Gene B. Glick Company, Inc. and Peace Learning Center’s Community Programs Director, John McShane met to talk about how Peace Learning Center might best serve the properties owned by Glick. Ellie manages service coordinators for several Glick owned properties in the region. They discussed some of the struggles and difficulties encountered by her staff and residents in many of their communities and discussed how together they might make a difference. The vision of collaborating together and bringing residents and staff together was created to “Create a More Peaceful Community.”
The pilot project was was Cambridge Square North. The design strategy was to identify potential resources and funding. They also wanted to create a workshop series based on PLC concepts, work together with residents and staff, to solve real community problems as identified by residents – all while celebrating and encouraging continued community participation.
Resident results after attending the workshops: As they progresses through their stages of development during the workshops, they began to see an increase in: new resident contacts, established residents began to have fewer negative assumptions of newer residents and began to introduce themselves and outreach to new residents. They also began assisting new residents with integrating into our community culture of peace; encouraging and inviting new residents to attend programs, residents also began to work together to assist in identifying troublesome residents by writing complaints and working with property management to improve the community, resident’s became more trusting of staff members and each other.
Results for property management staff after attending the workshops: Established the Resident Appreciation Week, improved customer service, improved interactions with residents, and hosted Resident Lease and Maintenance Education Sessions.
Additional results: Many residents shared they have decided to stay housed with Cambridge Square North Apartments, residents report a sense of belonging, residents are protecting, caring, and contributing to their community. Some residents are volunteering to host events for the community and residents are also beginning to seek volunteer opportunities in the greater community, and resident referrals have increased.
Currently the program is being hosted at six other Glick elderly properties.