Partners and Residents Make Community Day a Success

Holding a Community Day isn’t easy. When Community Housing Partners’ (CHPC) Housing Manager Sylvia Gaines began planning an event for her residents and the local community, she thought she would have trouble securing donations and supplies.

Instead, she found an overwhelming surge of support from local and state organizations. What resulted was a successful Community Day held on September 23, bringing together residents, staff and the surrounding neighborhood to Ansell Gardens, a 78-unit multi-family property located in Portsmouth, VA.

Vital donations included a $500 donation from Virginia Community Development Corporation (VCDC) and $1,500 from Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), which allowed the Ansell Gardens staff to purchase and raffle off new computers, televisions, school supplies and other prizes intended to increase self-sufficiency among residents and the community.

Local organizations, such as VHDA, the American Red Cross, Bank of America, Cox Cable, Ident-a-Kid and the City of Portsmouth Fire and Police Departments, also donated time and knowledge by providing informational booths.

Gaines said these local organizations were an integral part in achieving CHPC’s mission to promote social sustainability .

“Our purpose was to provide information and education for all residents and community members,” she said. “We covered a broad range of issues, from buying houses, to learning how to budget finances, to safety tips.”

But Gaines says the greatest support came from the residents themselves. All donations were accepted, from gently-used clothing and household items, to offers to provide music or face painting. Others volunteered their time to help with the event.

“It doesn’t matter the size of the gift, just that they gave,” Gaines said. “If it wasn’t for the residents, we wouldn’t have had this event. It truly grew into something larger than life, and this is their success.”