Goodwill Manasota’s Beneva Oaks Apartments Team Honored with National Award

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Staff members at apartments for individuals with disabilities recognized by Consecra Housing Network with ‘Divine Proportions Award’ for response to a fire at the facility in May of 2014

Members of the Beneva Oaks Apartments and Orchard Place were honored by Consecra Housing Network with 'Divine Proportions Award'

Jennifer Smyth, Orchard Place Manager; Emil Leahu, Orchard Place Maintenance; Kristin Meissner, Orchard Place Housing Assistant; Mark Zeman, Beneva Oaks Manager; Linda Iannerelli, Beneva Oaks Housing

“The seven people that work in the two communities received the award in honor and acknowledgment of the care, compassion and action that they showed to the residents that were displaced the day of the fire and the following weekend,” said Consecra VP

The management team of Beneva Oaks Apartments, a facility consisting of 40 apartments for adults with disabilities owned by Goodwill Manasota and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, recently received the “Divine Proportions Award” from Consecra Housing Network. The award was given to recognize the staff for its response to an apartment fire in May of 2014.

Beneva Oaks Apartments, which are managed by the Consecra Housing Network, provide subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families, where one of the heads of household in each apartment has a disability that has resulted in mobility impairment. There is a social service coordinator available to residents to help them obtain services for their individual needs. Rental costs vary based on income and size of family – the lowest renter pays less than $70 for a two-bedroom apartment; the highest rent is $700/month. The apartments are fully occupied, with about 90 people on the waiting list.

When a fire broke out in a third-floor apartment last year, the team at Beneva Oaks and another Consecra-managed facility, Orchard Place, responded swiftly, taking great care of the residents. All systems and procedures worked perfectly – there were no injuries and just three apartments sustained enough damage to displace the homeowners temporarily. Goodwill team members and the Consecra support team made sure the needs of the residents were addressed and that the repairs to the facility could commence immediately.

Each November, the team of employees that supervise all of the Consecra housing communities in Florida, Missouri and Illinois are given the opportunity to nominate an employee or team of employees that they feel has excelled in their responsibilities during the year. Nominees are looked at for their ability to "go above and beyond" in caring for their residents, taking extraordinary measures in managing a difficult situation, setting an example of the highest standards in working together as a team and using creative measures to manage the financial situation of the housing community. In 2014, the overwhelming majority of nominations were received for the team at Beneva Oaks and Orchard Place.

“The seven people that work in the two communities received the award in honor and acknowledgment of the care, compassion and action that they showed to the residents that were displaced the day of the fire and the following weekend,” reported Consecra VP and COO Susan A. Sinderson. “Those employees who were on vacation came in to manage the fire and support their colleagues that day, through the evening and throughout the weekend. This team worked with the Goodwill team to ensure that all residents as well as their pets were taken care of as the building was being evacuated and helped them prepare for a weekend away from their homes. In addition, there were many emergency procedures that needed to be managed in order to take care of the physical building.”

The award includes a highly-coveted crystal trophy and $500 that the team will allocate toward something that will benefit their housing community.

Consecra Housing Network is a non-profit 501(c)(3) full service management corporation partnering in the development and management of ecologically and financially sustainable affordable housing that strengthens communities. It manages 35 communities in Illinois, Missouri and Florida, with four additional communities currently in development. Consecra is dedicated to quality, sustainability and diversity, and brings over a century of experience to housing management. Consecra is a faith-based organization that works to enrich communities by providing financially affordable and ecologically sustainable housing for seniors and people with special housing needs.

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Kelly Davis Strausbaugh
Goodwill Manasota
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