Interfaith’s Neighborhood Program expanded to serve its 10th housing community this spring.
Services vary by site based on resident interests and needs. Snacks and stacks of books and games draw kids to the Neighborhood Program space at Lakeview Commons. “The kids know my car. If they see it, they’ll stop in,” says program coordinator Fatuma Irshat.
At Plymouth Colony, residents of all ages were invited to receive swimming lessons at the outdoor pool through a partnership with Plymouth Parks & Recreation.
Cranberry Ridge, however, is a blank canvas. This 10th site opened to residents in May 2022 and offers 45 affordable housing units.
Renale Giles, program coordinator at Cranberry Ridge, has been busy ordering toys and games for the playroom and equipment for the exercise room. “The little things are often actually the big things. To go from experiencing homelessness or housing instability to having a play space or area to move your body is life changing.”
In addition to Renale’s presence as program coordinator, Interfaith case manager Grace Johnson will be on site to support families who have experienced homelessness and other barriers to housing stability.
Work Behind the Scenes
The goal of Neighborhood Program is to assist households with meeting basic needs – and also equip them for ongoing stability.
“There’s a lot of work behind the scenes,” says Zach Bucheger, Neighborhood Program manager. “We are in many conversations with many residents…navigating complicated systems, finding resources, advocating for their needs and rights as renters, building relationships and exercising their voice within the school system and so on.”
The outcome is an established neighborhood at each site, where residents can create meaningful connections with each other – and the broader community. Through Interfaith and partner organization Outreach Development Corporation, public/private partnerships have added nearly 350 affordable rental units to our local housing market.
Additionally, Interfaith partners with residential developers to increase the number of affordable apartments in our community.
As we focus more than ever on providing clients with what they need, when they need it, the Neighborhood Program team is available: “Unique to our program is that we office within the neighborhood sites we serve. We are out in the community and here when needed,” Zach says.
You can help Interfaith assist households with meeting basic needs and equip them for ongoing stability – by making a donation today.