The HomeKeeper team and I wanted to let the HomeKeeper community know that I’ll be leaving my position with the team on August 16 to start a graduate degree in urban planning at MIT this fall. It’s exciting, but I will miss the work we do here on the HomeKeeper team. I’ve been in my position for nearly 4 and a half years, and  it’s been pretty incredible to see where we’ve come since I came on board:

  • We grew from 30 to over 70 user organizations. Our users tell us they’re saving time, they trust their systems and that their data is helping them make the case for their programs.
  • We’re now collecting data on over 7,000 purchases. The HomeKeeper National Data Hub started from zero but is now collecting data about 7,000 purchases in long term affordable programs.
  • We became the 1st HUD Certified Housing Counseling App on Salesforce. We designed these additional features with continual input from housing counselors in the field. We focused on eliminating the daily frustrations taking away from time spent with clients,while still conforming to the standards HUD requires. 
  • Most importantly, our users each have unique stories about how HomeKeeper supports and streamlines their programming. And there are many stories. Organizations like Proud Ground are creating new public narratives about the wealth CLT homeowners build–with data to back them up. Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco is tracking survey data about the educational attainment of children in their homes. Our blog is full of stories like these.
I’ve played a part, but these successes come from the team of users, developers and thinkers who’ve worked together on HomeKeeper. Tiffany has been the sky high, big vision, relationship building magician to pull it all together and is going to continue to lead the team. Many others have played vital roles. Rick, Thane, Valerie and especially our superstar lady technologists- Nineta, Laura, Annie.. there’s not enough space to describe what you’ve taught or my gratitude. I’m also happy to say that Tiffany, Valerie and our new staff member,  Cheryl Curry, will continue the work.
The people who deserve the most heartfelt thanks are our users. We couldn’t have done it without you. My rough count is that I have trained more than 200 staff at 80+ organizations. We prioritized features slower than you you might’ve liked. We asked you to clean up your data (again!). We trained staff in different countries, time zones and tackled all kinds of IT issues.  We told you, no, you can’t change that picklist. Through it all you have been patient and collaborative.
It’s been a joy to work with our user organizations, and to leverage HomeKeeper to make your day to day work easier. It is a ton of work to make just one home affordable enough for a  working family to purchase, let alone to be sure that home is affordable to another family when it’s sold. Every day I am awed and impressed by the work that our users undertake–from showing up on the courthouse steps to buy a home back at auction to doing the everyday work of helping families get mortgage ready.
My heart is in the work that Grounded Solutions Network and our member organizations do, so I have a feeling I will see you (our users and partners) around. I hope that the work I do in graduate school will help support the growth and reach of programs like yours. I know the work you do helps our teachers, nurses, cooks, waitresses and seniors feel some security in their homes. It’s a security that they won’t get pushed out of the places where their family, their friends and their lifelines are. I know that is intangibly important work. I hope my future work will bring me back in touch with many of you. I also hope it will also do you proud.
Until then,