Community Stories, Eden Updates

A Message from Linda Mandolini – A Day for Reflection

March 17, 2021

A year ago this week, Eden Housing implemented COVID-19 protocols that moved much of our central office functions to our homes. We changed our routines for working at our sites and with Eden residents. While I can’t believe it’s been a year, I think it’s important to mark the occasion. Thank you to our staff, our partners, our advocates, our elected officials, and our supporters for all you’ve done to help Eden continue its mission through what has been a wild ride.

Managing through COVID alone would have been a lot, but we had wildfires that brought epic smoke events to many locations and rolling blackouts that left some of us sitting in the dark. We also witnessed horrific events. From the killing of George Floyd to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, that, along with the disparate impacts of the COVID crisis, reminds us of the tremendous amount of work we have to do to undo systemic racism in this country.

We at Eden proved to be a resilient group. We navigated working from makeshift office spaces. We adopted new ways to serve the residents in Eden communities. And, of course, we conquered technology, social distancing, homeschooling, and mask-wearing. 

It has been a hard year for so many. Fortunately, we were able to help tenants, raising more than $500,000 in tenant relief funds. We also checked in on residents regularly, distributed tons of food, and are now running vaccine clinics at all of our senior properties. We were grateful to be able to retain our entire Eden workforce and keep our work moving forward.

On the personal front, many of us missed family gatherings and milestone celebrations. Many of us haven’t seen family in person for more than a year. While I consider myself fortunate that my family has taken to “Zoomland” with great creativity and competitive spirit, some rituals cannot be done virtually. I, for one, have a whole new appreciation for in-person celebrations.

Sadly, many of us lost people near and dear to us in the past year. Among them Ilene Weinreb, one of our early and longstanding board champions. I send my condolences to any of you who have lost people to the pandemic or during the pandemic. 

With the advent of three highly effective COVID vaccines, we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is still much work to do to ensure a more equitable recovery for the communities Eden serves. I look forward to the day when I can see you all in person at an Eden event. Thanks again for all you do to make our world a better place and support the many residents who call Eden Housing home.