What do a transition house, a neighborhood basketball game, and a crochet group have in common? They all provide Jamboree residents with unique experiences as part of a community. In our mission to develop high quality affordable housing and services that transform lives and strengthen communities, these experiences are intentionally designed to promote success as part of a resident services strategy called REACH.
REACH is an acrostic for a model that focuses on five key values as our approach to delivering customized services that enrich the lives of residents – kids, families, formerly homeless, veterans, seniors, and those living with special needs. These values provide measureable ways to encourage the work/life success of residents at our properties and in the surrounding community.
When a resident at Rockwood with a passion for crocheting offered to teach her skill to others, a substantial number of residents expressed an interest in learning this craft. As a result, “Off the Hook” meets every Tuesday night, and residents flock to the community center to show off their handiwork in this dedicated crochet group.
The second value of REACH – experiences that are meaningful and relevant – focuses on broadening residents’ experiences in ways that are designed to help build confidence for life. In acquiring the basic skills of a slip knot, chain stitch or double crochet, these formerly homeless individuals not only experience a sense of community, they gain confidence by learning a new skill, and understanding they are empowered to make changes, develop future programming, or start their own group.
Sometimes, residents just need the opportunity to get back on their feet. Through our pilot program with St. Joseph Hospital, Kelvin entered Jamboree’s Anaheim House, a transition home that readies its residents to move to the next level of housing. Today, Kelvin lives at one of our shared homes in permanent supportive housing, has a full-time job and enjoys living a normal life. He would say his most meaningful experience by far happened over the holidays, when after reconnecting with his family, he was able to spend quality time with his son and meet his granddaughter for the first time.
For formerly homeless adults and those living with a mental illness, sometimes the best experience is just being a regular part of a local community. When Mabel L. Pendleton Elementary School – just across the street from Jamboree’s Clark Commons property – planned a fundraising basketball game with the Harlem Wizards, Jamboree staff joined Buena Park school district employees to take on the challenge. The Wizards are a show basketball team delivering wildly successful fundraiser events for schools and nonprofits, which raised more than $2 million playing in 400+ communities last season alone. Known for their thunderous, sky-high slams, the comedy, audience participation, and great sport provide an evening of great fun.
Mabel L. Pendleton is part of the Clark Commons Collaborative – a group of community service partners Jamboree brought together with a shared commitment to make a positive, impact on the residents at Clark Commons and the entire neighborhood. The bond of community was apparent as Anaheim residents from our Monarch Pointe and Diamond communities came to join the fun and cheer for the “home” team. Mark from our Diamond property in Anaheim said he had “never been to anything so cool,” and Sonia from Monarch Pointe said it was especially fun to see Jamboree Community Impact Manager Ben Sanchez “get dunked on.” The experience provided an opportunity for residents from other Jamboree communities to be part of a community fundraising event, and feel they could make a difference in the neighborhood, just as any good neighbor would do.