Green Leaders Program

In recent years the state of the environment has garnered more attention due to changing climates, extreme weather events and the rise in environmental related public health issues. At Mutual Housing California we are dedicated to doing our part to intervene in the destruction of our environment.

With the Green Leaders program we empower our resident members to have influence over neighbors’ behavior and perception of where they live. Having educated and empowered residents is key in achieving our mission to develop, operate and advocate for sustainable housing that builds strong communities through resident participation and leadership development.

Our Green Leaders program enlists residents with an interest in sustainability to learn about the green aspects of their homes and to educate their fellow resident members about an area of sustainability which they are passionate about. Resident leaders at each community identify other programs and providers for activities that may be of interest to residents at their properties, including senior exercise, community gardening and nutrition, after-school tutoring and homework clubs, English and citizenship classes, disease prevention and a the list goes on.

In 2011, thanks to funding from the Home Depot Foundation and NeighborWorks® America, Mutual Housing piloted the program. We piloted the program at two locations:

Initial project topics and activities at our Davis communities included worm composting, recycling, utility discount and weatherization awareness, energy tracking/auditing, and reducing overall personal carbon footprints.

Resident Green Leaders at our Foothill Plaza community designed a green living guide, available in both English and Russian, for use by property management and all community residents. (Graphic design of guides by Jody Nied.) They also filmed and edited a series of humorous and informative videos about green living, which they debuted at a community event where the Green Guide was distributed.

The goal of the Green Leaders Program is to spread environmental awareness within our communities, share information about the green elements in our communities with residents and to build capable, and empowered resident leaders. With the implementation of this program residents will be able to have a positive contribution to the “greening” of our communities.

As important as the green aspect of the program is, providing residents with leadership opportunities is crucial to residents’ success. We strive to create leaders in our communities so residents can gain applicable skills that can help them move closer to their goals of financial security.

Thanks to funding from Enterprise Community Partners, Kelly Foundation, and NeighborWorks® America we are continuing our Green Leaders Program this year throughout our nineteen communities. We also have support from our NeighborWorks VISTA, Gerardo Ramirez to grow the program further and develop Summer green youth internships.

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