Iona Mani

Iona Mani, Owendale Mutual Housing

Prior to moving to Owendale, I lived in a house in downtown Sacramento. There were no community parties, playgrounds, a pool or gardens where my children could meet with other kids their age and form the bonds of friendship. It was a commercial area, and neighbors kept to themselves.

Living in Mutual Housing has tremendously impacted my life, as well as that of my four children. I feel that my children are extremely lucky to be able to live in a community environment. They have been given the opportunity to make a difference by adding their opinions and input, which has boosted their confidence greatly. My two older daughters have distributed community newsletters to other neighbors, and they enjoyed it because it gave them a sense of belonging while also getting to say “hello” to their friends in other apartments.

Living at Owendale has pushed me to start playing the piano again for the residents, because I now have a venue to perform with my children. They can also further their musical talents and public performance skills. Performing for the residents has boosted my leadership skills.

Free tutoring at Owendale has been a great asset to my children’s future. I would not otherwise be able to pay for their private tutoring. Monthly meetings and holiday potluck parties have been a great tool for me to ease back into the social scene – a safe and family-oriented atmosphere. Lastly, living in Mutual Housing has given me the feeling of, “It’s not just me and my family, but an entire community that helps me and is vested in my success.”

Living at Owendale is a two-way street where people help me, and I help others. With pride I can say that I am proud to live at Owendale, my “dream home.”

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