America’s Service Commissions (ASC) and Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) have recognized the joint efforts of 501 Commons and Bellwether Housing. During 2013, both organizations worked to create emergency preparedness plans for three of Bellwether Housing’s apartments: Security House, Kingway Apartments, and Tate Mason Apartments. Consultants with Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) acted as liaison to ensure that the project was completed.
Teams of 501 Commons’ VGF Service Corps members (1) assessed current emergency procedures at each building (2) collaborated with Bellwether staff to create improved guidelines unique to each apartment building, and (3) trained staff and residents about how to implement the plan.
The third edition of the publication Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovative and Impactful National Service Programs in the United States includes programs that have a lasting impact on the community. In addition, the program must be innovative (for example, cross-program connections, programs that can be nationally replicated). Bellwether’s emergency guidelines project met both qualifications.
“Our property management staff is excited to share this program among all of our properties. And we're equally pleased that other nonprofit housing organizations across the nation will benefit”, said Sue Selman, Bellwether Housing’s Director of Property Management.
The program will be highlighted in 2014 Innovations in Civic Participation & America’s Service Commissions Innovative & Impactful Programs publication. The expected release date is early 2014. Here is a sample of Bellwether Housing’s Resident Quick Reference Handout.