Wynona (Noni) Laws, a resident at Willow Creek Senior Housing
Justin Linder, Resident Services Specialist at Columbia Mill Apartments
Horizon can help properties to build on-site libraries by providing new books and bookshelves for the property’s community space. If needed, books can be updated annually. Libraries help to promote positive reading behaviors for children and can create a sense of community within the property.
Tenant Reading Programs
Horizon can help properties to establish reading programs on-site, if a community space is available, or can connect with the local city hall, churches, schools, or other community resources to provide tenant reading programs. In order to encourage a sense of community, we provide incentives for resident volunteers to host read-a-loud sessions and other events. In addition, children are often provided with incentives for attending the reading program and for continuing their reading at home.
Horizon builds partnerships with local resources (local school districts, tutoring services, etc.) that offer tutoring in the community, and makes these services available to Horizon residents. These programs offer on and off site tutoring to help students of all ages to they acquire the skills needed to excel in the classroom.
After School Enrichment Programs
Horizon has the capacity to provide an after school program for the children at a family property. These programs are educational, informational, and culturally enriching and serve as a supplement the local educational system. They emphasize homework help, including components focused on reading literacy, math and science as well as music, art and dance.
The goal of Horizon’s after school programming is to make available to children and their families high quality educational experiences in a safe, nurturing environment during non-school hours, and to provide a support for parents that strengthens their involvement in the education of their children through a strong system of inter-generational linkages and community support.
Backpacks and School Supplies
Horizon often partners with vendors and other nonprofits to supply school-aged residents of our properties with much needed school supplies. We supply each child with an age/grade level appropriate backpack filled with age/grade level appropriate school supplies.
GED/HSE Courses and Continuing Education for Adults
When residents express a desire to complete or continue their education, Horizon can put in place the resources and supports needed for individuals to achieve that goal. For residents seeking to obtain their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, Horizon coordinates with local partners to offer HSE and GED preparation courses to residents. When available, preparation courses and tutoring can be brought directly to a property’s community space. Horizon can also facilitate transportation to preparation classes and testing centers, and can help residents to pay for testing fees that may otherwise be prohibitive.
Computer and Internet Accessibility
Computer and internet accessibility can be very valuable for residents at family properties and senior properties both. When residents lack access to computers and the internet, Horizon is able to establish individual computer terminals and even entire computer labs at its properties. Depending on the needs of the residents, these computers can be equipped for youth education purposes, job search and job readiness purposes, or to increase connectedness to friends and family. We also understand that having access to a computer often is only the first step, so Horizon also helps to bring in instructors to teach basic computer skills such as word processing and navigating the internet and email.
Horizon makes scholarships available to residents of its properties to help them to further their education and improve their job prospects. Residents who meet the criteria can receive up to $1,500 per semester to use at a nonprofit college or university or trade school of their choice.
In our efforts to promote the health and wellness for the children of our residents, Horizon has partnered with the local YMCA to sponsor a youth baseball and soccer team.
In our efforts to promote the health and wellness of our residents, Horizon often provides exercise classes on-site in our communities. We hire local instructors from different exercise styles (yoga and chair yoga, kickboxing, zumba, and more) to guide our tenants through an appropriate weekly workout. If the property does not have a community space to hold classes, we often provide class passes to local gyms.
Horizon can work to establish walking clubs at properties in order to encourage physical activity and promote healthy habits. We provide coordination, supplies, incentives for participation and rewards for accomplishments, and when needed we can even provide the basics such as walking shoes and water bottles.
Healthy Cooking Classes
Horizon fosters community partnerships to provide cooking and nutrition classes that can positively impact the health and well-being of a community’s residents. These classes offer interactive cooking sessions as well as information and educational seminars about how to eat, cook, and shop in a healthy and affordable way. Classes are taught by trained dietitians and nutrition experts, and when possible are offered directly on-site at the property.
Healthy eating is critical for seniors to remain independent, maintain their quality of life, and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory diseases and some cancers.With this understanding, Horizon partners with health and nutrition specialists who visit our communities to present seminars on how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Lessons are easily translatable to residents’ everyday lives and the eating choices.
Social Service, Medicare, and Senior Health Speaker Series
Horizon helps to bring experts in the fields of social services, Medicare, and senior health to its properties to speak on topics that can help residents to improve their stability and quality of life. These speaker series can include topics such as navigating health insurance, getting the most out of a visit to the doctor, and managing chronic health conditions.
Neighborhood Watch Meetings
In order to engage the community and create a sense of security, Horizon helps organize Neighborhood Watch Meetings. Often, we are able to recruit a local police officer to lead each meeting. Introducing the residents to the local police allows for the police to recognize who lives at the property and to support those residents the best they can. Through these sessions, residents connect and discuss how to resolve and prevent neighborhood concerns.
Community Dinners and Events
Horizon sets aside an allocation of funding to sponsor community dinners and events for residents at its properties. We recognize the value of a strong community, both for the well-being of the residents and for the smooth functioning of the property. Properties often use this allocation to host back-to-school events, holiday dinners, and group outings.