A safe and healthy home is the first step in developing a stable, successful life. Housing intersects with almost every other social issue and outcome, from education and health to employment and public safety. The challenge is to ensure communities provide a variety of housing opportunities for different incomes, demographics, and life stages.
At AHC Inc., along with building and preserving affordable places for people to live, we are also building community by providing educational opportunities for our residents. With stable and affordable housing, families can put their energy into putting down roots, succeeding in school and jobs, and becoming strong community members.
The programs help residents build stronger lives and involve hundreds of volunteers – both individuals and groups – who also reap long-term rewards through their participation.
Head Coach Kate Athing and the Marymount University Women’s Lacrosse Team have volunteered with AHC’s After-School Program for three years. Players are paired with the same elementary student each week and have developed close relationships with the youngsters.
Tim Bellaire, a retired FBI agent, also finds volunteering rewarding. “I get as much (or more) out of the volunteering experience as the young adults gain from me,” said Bellaire. “As the saying goes, ‘The more you give, the more you receive.’”
There’s no doubt Bellaire is helping change lives. Lydia, a high school senior and one of his long-time students, credits Mr. Tim for helping her choose her career path. “I actually started getting into what I wanted to do for college thanks to his influence in math and encouragement to work hard,” says Lydia.
At AHC’s College Signing Day, she proudly announced she is going to Virginia Tech to study mechanical engineering. And, just as he’s been doing since Lydia was in middle school, Tim Bellaire was there to cheer her on.
Housing + Education = Success is a formula that benefits and involves the entire community, including businesses, nonprofits, volunteers and local government.