For Kimberly Schambie, property manager at VOA Southeast, every day is an opportunity to make a difference. She starts each day visiting three of VOA Southeast’s affordable housing properties in Mobile, Alabama. She ensures each resident’s house is safe, secure, clean and in good condition. From handling paperwork and recertifications to helping with move ins or catching up with a resident, she is an available resource and friend.
Most of Schambie’s residents are recovering from mental illness, but to her they are just people. With the help of case managers from local mental health agencies visiting the properties daily, she works with residents on basic living skills, transportation and assisting with disability benefits. With compassion and support from staff and other residents, individuals living in VOA Southeast housing gain autonomy, so they can get back into society and live life on their own.
When a new resident joins a VOA Southeast housing property, Schambie and the rest of the team ensure the new resident feels welcome and at home. Whether by listening or just showing she cares, Schambie makes her residents feel supported. From a walk outside or a crossword puzzle to a board game or recreational activity, she enjoys getting to know her residents, just like she would a close friend or family member.
“This is my family away from home,” said Schambie. “I’m more than their property manager. I’m their counselor, their family member and their friend. If a resident notices my car isn’t in the parking lot by a certain time, I’ll get a phone call from them, making sure I’m okay.”
VOA Southeast’s impact on the local community is significant. For Schambie, VOA Southeast’s impact is seen in how her residents learn coping and basic living skills to set them up for future success. For more information on VOA Southeast housing or how to make a donation, visit bit.ly/3UV6P6T.