We asked Rebecca to reflect on her career. We are thankful for her 30 years with EHDOC!
It has been an incredible honor to be the Resident Service Coordinator at Village de Memoire Apartments in Ville Platte for the past 30 years and an EHDOC Regional Service Coordinator for approximately 15 years.
I began my journey on a 5-year HUD Service Coordinator Pilot Program in which HUD was testing a new concept, housing with supportive services. They were moving away from just bricks and mortar and to a model to assist the tenants of HUD low-income properties with supportive services to allow them to live independently for as long as possible. I have been a Service Coordinator since the programs infancy and was fortunate to not just watch but participate in the programs growth and transformation into what is today. And, oh what a beautiful ride it has been. I started without a computer and without a Procedure Manual. Everyone on the pilot program was learning as we went along. Over the years, I was bestowed the AASC Award of Excellence and The EHDOC President & CEO Award along with the EHDOC Service Coordinator Award for Exemplary Program for Residents with Special Needs. I completed the National Center on Housing Management’s Certificate programs, Senior Housing Specialist and Certified Service Coordinator.
EHDOC has always been at the forefront of Service Coordination with our CEO Steve Protulis serving as President of the American Association of Service Coordinators. It was through his partnership with AASC that Service Coordination Advocacy on a National level became the norm. He rallied housing professionals from around the country to bring much needed education to our congressmen on issues facing seniors living in low-income housing. EHDOC Service Coordinators began reaching out to their elected officials on the local, state and national level to educate them on the low-income properties located inside their districts and needs of the residents. We held letter writing campaigns with our residents, held rallies at our properties, we attended rallies at the Nation’s Capital, and we gave testimony to our State Legislators. Still today, Steve’s mission remains dear to my heart, and I presently serve on the AASC Advocacy Committee and will be visiting our Nation’s Capital in August.
Our new CEO, Melanie Ribeiro, is true to the mission and has been a godsend to EHDOC with her insight, courage and strength in the face of change. Her commitment to bringing EHDOC into modern times is most admirable. She has the heart of lion, and I am so blessed to work under her leadership.
My home base has been Village de Memoire Apartments which is a 114-unit 202/8 for the elderly and disabled. My role is multifaceted as everyone is unique and comes to Village de Memoire with their own unique set of circumstances. It is through becoming acquainted with the resident and conducting non-clinical assessments at move-in, annually, or more frequently if a change has occurred that assists me in determining needs and begin building a service plan. I educate the residents on services and programs available in the community and assist each resident with referral to services and/or applications for programs that will help meet those needs and monitor services for quantity and quality. The following quote sums up what I do as a Service Coordinator. “There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”
When I became an EHDOC Regional Service Coordinator, I was able to really get to know the Service Coordinators around the country that are employed in EHDOC properties. I was deeply humbled upon knowing so many people that had the same mission as myself, that had a love of people and who fought every day to bring services, support, and encouragement to so many others. They are my heroes; they are the people that I look up to with awe and admiration.
There is another person within EHDOC that has brought so much wisdom and knowledge to the Service Coordinator Program, Della Koester. She is our Director of Quality Assurance and has a passion for Service Coordination like no one I have ever witnessed in 30 years. Her willingness to go above and beyond, her guidance, and her beautiful heart inspires me to be the best that I can be every day.
Thank you EHDOC for a beautiful journey. May I be so fortunate to have a few more years of service.