Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report Exceeding Expectations through Preparedness
2020: The Year of Pivoting, Partnering & Providing
RICHARD F. BURNS
KENNETH D. WHITE
Amidst all the hardship, sickness, racial conflicts, and stress of 2020, Operation Pathways was at the front line responding to needs in our communities and pressing forward with our goals. In many ways, we were poised and ready to take on these challenges and we did it with confidence, compassion and steadfastness. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to praise our incredible staff of service coordinators who we believe were impeccably prepared, well-trained and eager to provide and coordinate services to quarantined citizens during a pandemic. Our team quickly pivoted from planned programs and services to meet new needs of the residents of our communities caused by COVID-19. We immediately put plans in place to increase wellness checks to our most vulnerable residents, provide food and prepare meal deliveries. Additionally, we secured and distributed personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, offered support to families home-schooling children, kept seniors engaged and connected to loved ones and service providers, provided technology resources and no-cost or low-cost options for broadband internet services. Our staff tirelessly assisted residents in navigating systems to receive new and changing benefits in unemployment, stimulus checks, and other government entitlements, educated residents on CDC guidelines to stay safe and healthy, and provided support for connecting residents to doctors through telehealth. While all of this was happening, we were maintaining and building new national and local partnerships to expand our offerings. Our partnership with Centene/ Social Health Bridge in New Orleans, LA not only remained strong during
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“We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one . . . There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” —AMANDA GORMAN, NATIONAL YOUTH POET LAUREATE
COVID-19, but became a vital resource for our residents. As well, our partnership with CAST in Stamford, CT also made adjustments to our Makerspace program to ensure continuity of service. These innovations in resident services not only assist residents in building a better quality of life, they also create an organizational culture where creativity and imagination are valued and appreciated. Operation Pathways’ voter engagement activities are also a major accomplishment for 2020. Working closely with the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s Our Homes, Our Votes initiative, we exceeded all expectations for engaging residents in the 2020 general election. The 2020 election had the highest voter turnout rate in modern history, and we believe that our work in engaging voters from affordable housing communities was a factor in contributing to that success. Lastly, we increased communication with our properties and to other stakeholders this year by creating an important quarterly report that showcases the trans- formative work that our site-based staff do to support the mission of Operation Pathways. I could not be prouder of the Operation Pathways staff that went above and beyond their call-of-duty in 2020 to bring services, supports, and hope to the residents living in our housing communities. Operation Pathways didn’t just survive 2020, we thrived.
Richard F. Burns
Kenneth D. White
Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer,
Operation Pathways, Inc.
Operation Pathways, Inc.
Operation Pathways, Inc. | Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report 3
Resident Voices: Snapshots from 2020
Mr. Charles Forest Park, New Orleans, Louisiana
ALL THROUGH THE YEAR OF COVID-19, Mr. Charles has found ways to give back to his community at Forest Park. During the 2020 election, Mr. Charles used his own car to take neighbors who did not have transportation to the polls. In total, he chauffeured 18 community members throughout early voting days all the way to Election Day. Community members self- reported that if it hadn’t been for the kindness and generosity exhibited by Mr. Charles, they probably would
not have voted this year. Enabling them to get to the polls enabled residents to have their voices heard in this important election. Mr. Charles continued to demonstrate community involvement and caring by volunteering to be resident Santa this holiday season. Though children were not able to take a picture directly with Santa, Mr. and Mrs. Claus were present to wave, offer air high-fives, and have masked conversations with the children. This small gesture brought special holiday cheer and a sense of normalcy to the Forest Park community. Through these actions, Mr. Charles showed that no matter your age or economic status, community members can rise to community leaders..
Where Mr. Charles lives matters.
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Mrs. Patricia Staten The Roundtree Residences, Washington, DC
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATION PATHWAYS, KEN WHITE, often remarks, one of the greatest challenges during this time of the pandemic at our properties is the need for residents to be connected to the internet. This issue has affected every age demographic from school- aged children attending classes online, to unemployed adults looking for work and applying for benefits, to seniors shut in and suffering from social isolation. Through a grant from DC Housing Finance Agency, we were able to purchase tablets and provide 1-year of high-speed internet access to 100 of our neediest residents in DC. Our on-site resident services coordinators have supplied them with instructions and resources to help them use their new tablets to fit their needs.
Mrs. Staten, a resident at Roundtree Residences, had been using an old flip phone to communicate with friends
and family during the pandemic, many of whom live far away. When Mrs. Staten received her new tablet, the RSC helped her make a video call to her daughter in California, and she got to meet her newest grandchild, Gigi, and the joy was palpable!
Where Mrs. Staten lives matters.
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Mission Operation Pathways provides and coordinates place-based programs and services for residents in affordable housing communities to increase quality of life. Vision Vibrant housing communities where residents are engaged, empowered, and supported to live to their fullest potential.
122 EAST 42ND STREET, SUITE 4900, NEW YORK, NY 10168 • 646.336.4940 1090 VERMONT AVENUE, NW, SUITE 400, WASHINGTON, DC 20005 • 202.789.5300 180 N. LASALLE, SUITE 3700, CHICAGO, IL 60601 • 312.216.5103 operationpathways.orgPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
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