Kim from Apartment LifePublished: October 23, 2020
Friendly neighbours make for better apartment living experiences.
Since 2000, Apartment Life has been redefining apartment living by creating memorable Resident experiences in rental communities across North America. The nonprofit partners with property management companies, such as Boardwalk, and places its team members on-site to welcome new Resident Members, plan social events, and foster a sense of camaraderie within the apartment community.
We connected with Kim, Program Director for Apartment Life, to find out more about this innovative program and the basics of Apartment Life as an organization.
“My husband and I owned a house before becoming an Apartment Life Team. Each day we would go to work, come home and do our own thing. We didn’t feel the need to reach out and care for others in the surrounding community. We felt emotionally unfulfilled. So, when we heard about Apartment Life, we decided that it would be a great opportunity to make friends, build community and care for our neighbours. Now, we’ve worked with Apartment Life for over three years at two different apartment rental buildings in Charleston, SC. We have zero regrets!”
“I’m really proud of our organization and how our teams genuinely care about every member of the community. Our team members intentionally reach out to residents who may be experiencing loneliness intending to make them feel seen and heard. We try to get to know those who do not usually attend community events or participate in community initiatives in a natural and organic way. Personally, I didn’t know my own neighbours until I was introduced to Apartment Life.”
In exchange for a rent-free apartment suite, the teams – usually a married couple, family, or two single adults - are tasked with hosting events for Boardwalk’s Resident Members each month, connecting with their neighbours daily, and bringing Residents together in a social and neighbourly way.
Weekly events include dinners, meet your neighbour gatherings, game nights and more. Although the current global pandemic has thrown a wrench into some of the teams’ plans, they discovered new and unique ways to continue to connect Residents while respecting physical distancing guidelines.
“While the pandemic was completely unexpected, we’ve had the opportunity to adapt and evolve over the past six months. The Apartment Life coordinators and staff have been incredibly creative. They have figured out how to connect with residents in meaningful and useful ways, even with social distancing and quarantine in place. This included grab and go events where items were prepackaged, door drops that included “party in a box” packages (s’ mores kits, movie nights, succulent planting, etc.), and online events like cooking classes, fitness events, and trivia over Zoom.”
Kim says one of the most rewarding experiences about working for Apartment Life has been witnessing the transformation of the communities their teams serve.
“A family in our community was walking through the parking lot when an older gentleman fell. When they went to check on him, they realized that he had gone into cardiac arrest, so they called an ambulance immediately. The family visited him regularly at the hospital and continues to check in on him while he recovers at home. They even help take him to his doctor’s appointments. The best part of our job is seeing people make these types of connections within the community.”
To learn more about Apartment Life, please visit apartmentlife.org.