How Home empowers our Aeon community
“When I first moved into Paige Hall, I wasn’t interested in getting involved with the community here. But after seeing how engaged the Resident Connections staff were with my neighbors, I started to see the benefits of being involved and connecting with others in the building. They go above and beyond every day and have been my rock through hard times. Now I participate in Paige Hall events and I’ve even worked with staff to start a Kids Club for the children in the building!” – Cardie, Aeon resident
Home is more than the place where you sleep. It’s more than a floor, four walls and roof. Home is where you gather with family, friends and neighbors. It’s the place where you create community and build your support system. For our Aeon neighbors, these elements of Home are essential to increasing stability and the reason we have a dedicated Resident Connections team serving numerous Aeon sites.
What is Resident Connections?
You’ve heard us mention Resident Connections before and might have wondered, “What does Resident Connections do at Aeon?” The primary role of this team is to foster community engagement, helping residents connect with their neighbors to create true feelings of Home. The team works under the assumptions that when people are connected, they feel safer and more satisfied with their living environment; that a sense of Home and community help people overcome chronic issues that jeopardize housing stability; and that social engagement fosters networks of peer support that lead to stability and wellbeing.
Last year, 1,148 residents attended at least one of the 404 community events hosted by Resident Connections. These events vary depending on the wants and needs of the residents and can range from fun outdoor BBQs to informational sessions on household budgeting, but the overall goal for these activities are the same — to bring people together. Many residents also get involved in their community by volunteering — 128 individual residents gave an astounding 3,243 hours of their time to help Aeon with community-building last year.
Empowerment and leadership opportunities
For Robin, an Aeon resident who describes herself as a “naturally passive-aggressive person,” managing conflict has been a challenge in the past. It’s thanks to Aeon’s eight-week Personal Empowerment Training that Robin says she now has an easier time controlling her reactions to situations — which ultimately has meant less conflict and healthier interpersonal relationships in her life.
Personal Empowerment Training is offered to anyone in the Aeon community who wants to communicate more effectively with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors and have more control over their own feelings and reactions. The curriculum, set up by Twin Cities Rise and taught by our Resident Connections team, assumes that if individuals can start to control their thoughts, they can start to control their feelings and behavior, too.
Those who took part in the course immediately started asking, “What’s next?” And our Resident Connections team responded by introducing the Community Leadership Program. This curriculum provided by NeighborWorks America teaches individuals how to be leaders in their community through effective communication, teamwork, power mapping and more productive tools. Although the course is not over yet, Robin already has plans for how she wants to use the new skills she’s acquiring, and is starting to connect with businesses in the community who might be interested in donating to Paige Hall’s food shelf.
Your support impacts stability
From building community to empowering residents to take control of their lives, our Resident Connections team is dedicated to increasing stability for those facing the greatest barriers to Home — and so are you! When you support Aeon, you are not just providing individuals and families with a place to live. You are providing support and connecting neighbors with the resources they need to thrive. Thank you.
“Why are people homeless?”