Aeon residents at a community event.

Resident Connection coordinated events bring our Aeon community together.

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.


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4 Comments

  • Lisa "unstapledlisa" Kasen says:

    I was delighted to see this blog!!!

    As a Aeon resident (now of 4 years!!!), especially at PH, we are so lucky to have Susan, as our always beyond kind, gracious, understanding, empathetic Resident Connections coodinator.

    But right up there with Susan is Miss Cardie. Going above and beyond is an understatement. In addition to have a heart that’s the size of North America, and always thinking of the kids, BUT she often does activities and events in our community room that’s inclusive to ALL the residents, in the fall and winter, and in the backyard in the summer…. But she doesn’t miss a season, if not a month!!! Cardie is considerate, kind, empathetic and patient to all of us, as well as a good listener.

    Sometimes my disabilities keep me homebound a lot. While Aeon already knows as a blogger and activist of sorts, that I write, there is a lot of times, especially with medical disabilities that I am home and kind of reclusive without being anti-social, I do kind of keep to myself but know if I need to talk, that I can talk to either one of them. And that helps enormously, even though I try not to be a burden on anyone, they NEVER make me feel like one.

    Both of them being in my building have definitely enhanced living here, and I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself at Paige Hall.

    As gracious as Aeon is ever to it’s residents, if Aeon ever decides to do an Employee Hall of Fame as well as Resident Hall of Fame, It should be obvious who would get my endorsements!!!!

    Thank you Susan and Cardie for all that you do for us!!!

    Note: Because I’ve reduced my social media presence, at this present time, I don’t ever have an issue of being re-quoted, if appropriate on ANY Aeon specific internet or social media site, if it’s also with the blessing of the people with the organization and/or resident’s consent…..

  • Molly Wulf says:

    Way to go Resident Connections! What an awesome team!

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