Growing the Community in Apartments Are Communities in 2015
Our two primary Apartment complexes for Apartments Are Communities (AAC) are The Falls of Bellaire (formerly known as the Mint and the Mai) Apartments in Alief and the Linda Vista Apartments in Northwest Houston. It was a busy year for both and some transition as a new management group took over The Falls of Bellaire and a new Resident Coordinator for Linda Vista.
Falls of Bellaire
Falls of Bellaire Resource Center received a facelift with cleaning, new furniture, paint, and flooring this year. The center hosted a huge kick-off event for the revitalized center with games, food, and prizes. Teen volunteers from the Resource Center helped put together the events and oversaw the games. Community leaders, county representatives, and elected officials joined the residents for the announcement of the Resource Center receiving a grant from CASE (Center for Afterschool, Summer, and Expanded Learning) for the center to provide afterschool and summer activities.
During the summer, the Resource Center participated in a summer job programs for teens in the complex, an Empower Houston Leaders (EHL) class for teens, which culminated in a Back to School Supply Drive for children in the complex, and multiple field trips including one to the Museum of Natural Science. The Center was also selected to provide an afternoon meals and snacks during the summer and fall to the children who visit the center. All summer long there were game, arts & crafts, and movie days. One of the favorite activities was a puppet day and the children took a day to say thank you with hand made cards they gave to center volunteers.
There was a also very festive Halloween celebration, Holiday Gift Party, and a well-attended Thanksgiving celebration, which was a thank you for the hard work of residents and collected surveys for more resident input on center activities. National Night Out saw the center bring residents out to meet each other and talk about what was important to them about the center. The center also participated in community activities like volunteers to help trim trees in the nearby Alief Community Park, and painting at the Alief Community Center.
Linda Vista kicked off the summer with an Earth Day event where the Boy Scouts joined other kids in the center to make colorful pots and then planted more plants in a prepared garden bed. There was a great pool party with community vendors, food, and games. Adults and kids alike showed up to enjoy the cool water and the hot food. The center was also selected to participate in the afterschool and summer meal program through the city. Meals were provided to teens and children in the center Monday through Friday during the summer and fall.
A new resident coordinator started near the end of the summer. So far she has had two job fairs, which featured employers like Avon, TXU Energy, Center for Dispute Resolution, and Hilton Hotels. The coordinator reached out to the Northeast Management District and worked to get employers and assistance with resumes out to the Linda Vista Center. It was a great effort and several potential employees made great connections.
The Center participated in National Night Out, which saw community representatives, and vendors meeting with the residents. The Resident Coordinator took the opportunity not only to meet residents, but to connect with them about what they wanted in the center.The Center also celebrated not only Halloween with a big blowout that saw not only kids, but many adults participating with their kids, but Thanksgiving with arts and crafts and Christmas with a trip to the see the Zoo Lights and the Lights of the River Oak neighborhood. The residents also volunteered at the events to make sure they were safe and fun for everyone.
One of the favorite events was the Canvas Painting Party. Children from the Apartments came together in the center to put their feelings on the canvas. They were encouraged to paint how they felt, how they wanted to feel, or what they thought a feeling looked like. Soon flowers, hearts, and even brave lions were on the canvas. Apartment management loved the result and decorated their office with them.