Home is about more than a place—home is feeling welcomed, belonging, and connection to others. For over twenty years our Resident Services program has created opportunities for residents to get to know each other, to build relationships with their neighbors, and to create shared aspirations for their community. This year as we celebrate our history of work alongside residents, we continue to develop new opportunities for resident leaders.

These opportunities include our partnership with NeighborWorks America and its Community Leadership Institute (CLI).

The 2021 group of Resident Leaders met via Zoom for their first group meeting in late January.

This month, six residents from three HDC communities will begin the 2021 Virtual CLI. The group will receive community building and leadership training, equipping them to work together as leaders in their communities, and to inspire and create meaningful change in their neighborhoods.

Rolio Gozalez, a resident participant from Umbrella Works Apartments in Lancaster, PA, currently volunteers in the Umbrella Works’ office and is looking forward to the leadership skills she will learn that will not only help her grow, but will help her community succeed as well. “I want to encourage the community to work together towards a common goal,” she says. The group met for their first 2021 meeting via Zoom last week (pictured).

As HDC turns 50 this year, we are excited about using the CLI as a model to launch our very own Resident Leadership Program to inspire new leaders, amplify resident voices, and create leadership opportunities for action and change. HDC will pilot the Resident Leadership Training to a group of residents at one HDC community and graduates of the Program will receive a small grant that they will use toward a community project. HDC looks forward to learning from this program and expanding the opportunity across its footprint.