Building Better Futures: 30th Annual Conference and Pre-Conference Institutes October Wrap Up
During the week of October 5 - October 9, San Diego Housing Federation (SDHF) held their 30th Annual Conference and Pre-Conference Institutes online for the first time. The conference gathered housing and community development leaders and professionals together to share innovative approaches to problems faced in affordable housing, community, and economic development. Around 500 agents form all sectors of affordable housing logged into the conference this year to help each other address the rising need for affordable housing in California.
PSCDC regularly attends SDHF's conference with Resident Services Coordinators from San Diego and Imperial Valley participating in its Pre-Conference Institutes. This was our first year we were also able to invite a PSCDC Resident Services Coordinator from Sacramento to participate, learn, and join in on the discussion. Although the social aspects of a physical conference were missing this year, SDHF's Annual Conference and Pre-Conference Institutes continued to be well organized and filled with great speakers:
" Bearing in mind the whole situation, credit should be given to all the people who organized and participated in the event. A positive attitude and a willingness to help by providing a variety of resources and information is something to admire and be grateful for. " - Jelena Predojevic, San Diego Resident Services Coordinator
What the conference lacked in social interactions, it made up for with accessibility. All seminars and workshops were able to be viewed at one's convenience and archived for future reference. You were able to attend all lectures, workshops, topics, and discussions that you were interested in with, all within your own home. This level of flexibility was appreciated by some of our attending Coordinators, especially those not working in San Diego:
" I actually preferred that it was all online, it made it possible/easier for me to attend any session I wanted. " - Judi Boston-shedd, Sacramento Resident Services Coordinator
Despite affordable housing becoming more popular and available over the years, there is still a tremendous need for affordable housing in California. To facilitate the growth of affordable housing, the Pre-Conference Institutes were designed to provide excellent insights, information, and resources in their respective fields. Three institutes provided seminars during this year's conference: Fundamentals of Affordable Housing, Resident Services Support Network (RSSN), and Supportive Housing Learning Network (SHLN). We asked our Coordinators what they learned during the Pre-Conference Institutes:
" I think this [conference] brings into perspective how much our residents rely on us not only for housing, but also in providing needed services such as tutoring for their children. Doing so will allow them to focus on working or schooling, which may be vital to them continuing to maintain their place in affordable housing. " - Layla Perez, Imperial Resident Services Coordinator
" I really liked the Fundamentals of Affordable Housing Conferences. They explained the process that happens before apartments are built, the importance of having apartments rented, and what a construction delay implies. I learned how important affordable housing and TCAC inspections are. I will be making more of an effort to adjust our programming to comply with TCAC. " - Luz Vallejo, Director of Services - Imperial
" I really enjoyed the Age Friendly Communities seminar because it gave me ideas that I can use at the senior property I coordinate for. I learned that it is important to provide a well-balanced program to our seniors and involve them in our community. " - Veronica Iribe, Imperial Resident Services Coordinator
" I attended about 4 sessions. The most beneficial and informative to me was the RSSN Institute. " - Fatema Neromand, San Diego Resident Services Coordinator
Diana Bustos, PSCDC's very own Director of Services in San Diego County, helped lead a seminar along with other panelists and service providers tilted General Programming in a Pa Pandemic World where she shared how to plan and implement services, manage resident needs while maintaining social distancing, and how to adjust programming while having a mandated quarantine. Joining the conference as speaker this year for the first time proved to be a great learning experience for her:
" Joining the conference as a speaker and not just an attendee was such a learning experience! This year's conference was so different than the previous years. It was great to hear from other key players in housing and community development how the pandemic has readjusted what they do for work. Everything was so well planned and organized on behalf of the SDHF as well as the other RSSN committee board members. " - Diana Bustos, Director of Services - San Diego
PSCDC also held a virtual raffle at our online booth during the conference and have selected Ana Graczyk from City Heights Community Development Corporation and Sandra Ruffier from San Diego Housing Confederation's Resident United Network (RUN) as our winners! Ana is a Resident Services Coordinator in City Heights and with her team, has focused on food security and general well-being of their residents with plenty of rent assistance, diaper distributions, and monthly wellness check-ins. Sandra and RUN San Diego organizes residents, resident services providers, and developers together to support strategies that bring more affordable housing across the country. Congratulations to our two winners!
PSCDC is always looking for wiling volunteers who have a passion for helping their communities. With a surge of PSCDC residents and surrounding households depending on our food distributions as their main source of groceries, volunteers are needed to help keep our food distributions quick and seamless. If you and/or someone you know is interested in giving back to communities or need volunteer hours, you may sign up here and we will contact you shortly!
Thank you to all our Resident Services Coordinators who participated in making this post, especially Luz Vallejo and Jelena Predojevic for their permission to use their pictures.