Meet Maranda Wood, Affordable Housing Counselor for the Davidson Housing Coalition
(The News of Davidson interviewed Maranda Wood about her new role as Davidson Housing Coalition’s Affordable Housing Counselor)
Tell us about yourself
Maranda: I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and was born at Fort Belvoir. Service in general is a family ethic, and specifically serving in the military runs in my family – my grandfather was in the Army, as was my aunt. I also have a cousin in the Marine Corps and another cousin in the Army.
I have one sister who lives in New Jersey and a brother who died in an automobile accident. My mother lives in Virginia about three hours from here, so she visits often, which is a nice thing. My daughter, Genesis, is 14 years old and attends North Mecklenburg High School. She is in the IB program there and makes all As, as well as playing the violin and being on the debate team.
I attended a small college in South Carolina, Morris College, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Administration. I grew to love that small town, but it took some adjusting after growing up in the DC area. Immediately after graduating, I moved to Charlotte, not knowing anyone here. I found a great job working for the Elon Home and Schools, starting as a residential counselor. Over eight years there, I became a volunteer mentor coordinator and then grew into being a foster care case manager, overseeing home visits with parents and families. It was exhausting but rewarding work.
After that, I had the opportunity to spend more time with Genesis before starting my next job as the event coordinator for the nonprofit Berwick neighborhood HOA, managing over 100 events a year! This is a multi-generational neighborhood with over 2,500 homes. I did many things there, from writing their newsletter and managing their Facebook page, to meeting with vendors, working the front desk, and arranging fun events, such as father-daughter dances and music by the pond. This gave me the opportunity to work with people of all ages and become a problem-solver.
Later, I worked in a 55 and over community as their lifestyle director and then in a memory care facility as a life and enrichment director. People there were in all stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s. I learned how to help people and families as they navigated this difficult stage of life.
Every place I worked, I was able to serve people, as my family encouraged me to do.
How did you discover the DHC job?
I found it on Indeed, and I was intrigued by the opportunity to work in this field. I believe that everyone deserves a place to call home, whether to rent or to own, that is safe and happy. This job gives me the chance to put that belief into action. Working with people is very important to me and I have a passion to help people. Plus, I want to grow and learn new things.
What are your primary job responsibilities?
As the Affordable Housing Counselor for Davidson Housing Coalition, I oversee the Affordable Housing process ensuring that it is accessible to all eligible families. I coordinate and oversee outreach efforts, which include marketing, volunteer and community partnerships management, educational programs including preparing and updating course materials, conducting workshops/information sessions, facilitating classes, and scheduling guest teachers.
I want to build this program and encourage more people to use our services. Learning should be fun for our participants, and they should be able to see progress toward a goal, whether for home ownership or financial stability. Maybe they just want to start by creating a budget. I will meet people where they are and understand their needs. People may not know all the resources that are out there, and I can help them access them. I am so excited about the possibilities to help people as I let them know about our programs!
It will be wonderful to see our participants put everything they have learned into play, with the educational foundation and confidence to be successful.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
My daughter and I have always been a team and I most like to spend time with her. She is excited about my work and wants to get to know Davidson, too. I also like to garden, run, play chess, volunteer in the community, and, of course, have fun with friends and family. I hope that the future will hold more travel experiences for me. I would like to see more of the world. Mainly, I would like to do my part to make the world a better place.