Despite the challenges that defined 2020, Community Housing Partners (CHP) turned difficult circumstances into a successful and transformative year, thanks to the dedication and resilience of our extraordinary staff and partners.
We not only responded quickly to COVID-19 by adopting new health and safety protocols to protect our residents, clients, staff and vendors, but we also turned the crisis into an opportunity to develop new lines of communication with our residents, new forms of program delivery, and expanded online offerings for our clients.
In June, as national events led to social unrest across our country, we responded by refocusing our efforts to strive for a better, more equitable future. We provided learning and sharing opportunities for staff and committed to the implementation of an organizational equity framework to operationalize equity across all aspects of the company.
Together, as we adapted to a changing world and supported one another during crisis, we began to see our priorities and values through a different lens. While our previous core values remain a key part of who we are, we have incorporated those values into four core areas that allow us to focus more intentionally and clearly on where we are now – RISE: Resilience, Impact, Stewardship, and Equity.
Our updated values represent the lessons learned from 2020 and a renewed sense of focus for 2021. We share these impact stories and visuals with you now to thank you for your support as we continue to RISE together to meet the high standards we’ve set for our organization and for our work.
2020 taught us the importance of resilience – the ability to pivot and adjust to ever-changing circumstances. However, families and individuals who face housing insecurity lack the foundation needed to be fully prepared for challenging times. At the very onset of the pandemic, CHP provided our employees with the resources needed to continue to safely serve, and we prioritized programming and support focused around keeping our residents and clients stably housed.
CHP’s employees and partners work hard every day to improves lives through the creation and preservation of safe, stable housing opportunities. In 2020, we served nearly 10,000 households and pushed above and beyond to advance quality-of-life outcomes during trying times. At the onset of the pandemic, we significantly increased remote workforce development trainings and distanced programming for our residents so that we could not only continue to provide stable housing, but also improve the self-sufficiency and lives of those we serve.
We are fortunate to have so many resources available to us at CHP, and it is imperative that we protect and take responsibility for those resources. We hold ourselves accountable for the well-being of our employees, our communities, and the natural environment. In 2020 we supported our employees through learning and development, we invested in responsible maintenance of our properties, and we prioritized energy conservation.
We know that access and opportunities differ for everyone, and many of those differences are a result of intentional and unintentional decisions made over time and across our society. In 2020 we sought out a diversity of perspectives and voices so that we could counteract our own assumptions, better understand specific needs and circumstances, and become more effective partners.
A Banner Year
Resilience in Action
The whole world changed in 2020. Workplaces shut down, schools closed, and lockdowns began in response to COVID-19. CHP quickly responded to the pandemic, while employees devoted themselves to looking out for each other and those they serve. A year later, CHP continues to adapt and incorporate the lessons learned from 2020 into its mission-driven work.
CHP has a track record of turning apartment buildings into vibrant, sustainable communities, but the renovations at J. Van Story Branch Apartments in Baltimore, Maryland were ambitious even by CHP’s standards. In December, the Real Estate Development team completed renovations on the 20-story, 350-unit community.
Between loss of wages and unpaid bills, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought financial uncertainty to renters around the country, especially those in low-income communities. In 2020, CHP worked to connect hundreds of households at its apartment communities with more than $789,000 in rent relief from state and local sources—work that continues into 2021.
When Nancy Lam found her way to CHP Energy Solutions in July of 2019, no one expected that the journey to the home repairs and weatherization that would allow her to stay in her home of 64 years would span multiple years. Through partnership and perseverance in the face of the worldwide COVID pandemic, Nancy is now safe and comfortable in her home.
After CHP physically closed its offices in the months after the March 2020 national declaration the pandemic, staff members across departments found new and creative ways to carry out CHP's mission. The Energy Solutions Research and Training Center, which has provided training for energy efficiency professionals since 1999, is a great example of this.
CHP is immensely grateful for the time, services, and resources offered by our friends and supporters during a challenging year. In 2020, CHP had 499 volunteers who contributed 7,078 volunteer hours, as well as in-kind and cash contributions totaling more than $1.9 million from individuals and business partners. Thank you to our supporters, partners, and staff for helping us achieve our mission.
From our roots as a volunteer organization serving housing needs in Appalachia, CHP has grown into a multi-state organization nationally recognized for our capabilities and commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. Although CHP’s footprint has greatly expanded over the decades, our mission continues to focus on creating homes and communities that are healthy, sustainable, and affordable.