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BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012


Spring 2012


EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING IN SPRING AND SUMMER Several projects were completed in 2011 and we have many more planned for the spring and summer of 2012. BRHA has plans for the following projects:

Inside this Issue

• New window panels at Jones Manor and Stant Hall

Message from the Director


Karen Blackwell--CFO Retires


• New Appliances and upgrades to the furniture in the lounges of Jones Manor and Stant Hall

Spring Cleaning Tips


FSS News


Tips for Storing Items


Maintenance News


• Property wide landscaping that will include fencing and barriers

Reminders from Managers


Bed Bug Article


• Upgrades to the Resident Services Building on Clinton Avenue. The upgrades will include, roof, HVAC System for the entire building, painting the interior and exterior, and upgrades to the entrances.

Gatlinburg Trip


Cub Scout News


• Upgrades and new equipment in all of BRHA laundromats

A computer lab will be installed once the upgrades have been completed.

Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority • 809 Edmond Street, Bristol, Virginia 24201


BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012

Message from the Director: Do you know where you live? Well, of course you do – in Rice Terrace or Mosby Homes, or maybe in Jones Manor or Bonham Circle. But did you know that you also live in one of Bristol’s historic neighborhoods?? That’s right; you live in the Virginia Hill Historic District – bounded roughly by Oakview Avenue on the west, Scott Street on the south, and Martin Luther King Boulevard on the east, back up to where it meets up with Oakview at five-points intersection. I mention this for a couple reasons. Most of the time each of us is pretty caught up in our own personal life – our family, our job, our church, the next bill we have to pay, our children’s report cards, the dinner we have to prepare – all the people and things that make our life meaningful every day. We forget that we also live in a community where each of our neighbors also has a personal life. And all those personal lives have an effect on each other. In the end, how we live our own lives and how we interact with each other impacts the quality of life in the whole neighborhood. So, it’s important to remember that you are part of a neighborhood – the Virginia Hill Neighborhood – that has public housing and private housing, churches and small businesses, government offices and Virginia Intermont College. It’s a neighborhood that dates back to the early days of the city of Bristol and the railroad that helped give it life. It’s a neighborhood that has seen better days and now needs some help, which brings me to my second point. BRHA has 427 units of affordable housing in the Virginia Hill Neighborhood; we are the major property owner and the major housing provider. We have a Master Plan for the improvement of our properties, a plan that will dramatically impact the public housing in the neighborhood. But how our public housing program interacts with the private housing owners and other stakeholders in Virginia Hill, will impact the quality of life for everyone in the whole neighborhood. I hope that together, as the residents of public housing and the owners of public housing, we can engage with the private owners and the businesses and institutions in the Virginia Hill Neighborhood… to work as partners to make a better neighborhood for everyone. BRHA is beginning to explore how it can be a partner in improving the greater Virginia Hill Neighborhood. If you are interested in being involved in some way, let us know (call Annetta @ 821-6251). So, let me ask you again…do you know where you live? Dave Baldwin Executive Director Long Time Employee Karen Blackwell has Retired Karen held the position of Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer for the Housing Authority. Karen was an employee of the Housing Authority since 1981; she was initially hired as a bookkeeper, but has worked in every capacity with the exception of any maintenance position. Karen saw many changes in her years here at the Housing Authority. Karen indicated that ”Probably one of the biggest changes was going from doing everything manually to using computers.” Karen worked with five(5) Executive Directors and actually held the position of Acting Director. Karen is married to Ron Blackwell, they have 2 adult daughters, a son-inlaw, granddaughter and 2 boxers. Karen has many interest that she plans to pursue after retirement. Those interest include: seamstress, quilter, singing in the church choir, teaching a monthly Women’s Bible Study, visiting church friends who are shut in and she is looking forward to more family time. Karen states that “the first thing I am going to do is nothing!!” Although the staff at BRHA will certainly miss Karen, we want to wish her the best in her retirement!!

BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012 Welcome to Dennis Sheer BRHA would like to welcome Dennis Sheer to the staff. Mr. Sheer is the replacement for Mrs. Karen Blackwell. Dennis holds the position of Vice President of Administration/CFO. Dennis has worked the majority of his career as the Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services for regional state offices of the United Methodist Church in Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Virginia. He was also the Executive Director of the Holston Conference Foundation which covered Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. His volunteer service has included serving as an elected delegate to four international General Conferences and three board terms on the UM Publishing House in Nashville. His education includes a Business Administration degree from Northwest Missouri State University and continuing education in accounting, human resources, and information technology. Following graduation, he worked for the federal government and the Boeing Company. Currently, Scheer is serving on the board of directors of the Boone Lake Association. He works with the website, marketing presentations, and the annual cleanup event. His hobbies include beekeeping, gardening, kayaking, and hiking. He is excited about joining the Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority and utilizing his nonprofit financial experience to contribute to the BRHA team.

BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012


Spring Means Spring Cleaning Spring time is quickly approaching so it is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning. Spring cleaning can lead to healthier living conditions, better use of space and possibly make you a few dollars. 1. Clean out those closets. Are there old toys, clothes, or clutter that isn’t being used or is broken? Take an hour or two and have each person in the family go through their things to decide what should be tossed out and what is still in good condition but isn’t in use. The latter can be sold in a garage sale, consignment shop or donated. Remember, donations may be tax deductible. 2. Dust. Take the time to vacuum around baseboards, heating bents, drapes, under the sofa cushions, and wipe down window sills and non upholstered furniture. Also, don’t forget to vacuum under those big furniture items too. 3. Don’t overlook the bathroom. Bathrooms are subject to a lot of moisture day in and day out which can cause mold growth. This is a good time to make note of any leaking or damaged fixtures that would need repair. If you do notice something, be sure to contact your landlord immediately so the problem can be corrected.

5. Get organized. Take an hour with your family to make sure things all have a place and that everyone in the family knows where those places are. Set up a tray for mail and another for keys. Are there hanges and hooks for coats? Places for backpacks to go after school? Keeping things organized helps everyone keep the house tidy and gives the family more time for other fun activities. These tips are only a starting point. Have the whole family pitch in with ideas for a clean spring. Copied from the HUD March 2012 Newsletter

4. Appliances need a spring cleaning too. Clean out the refrigerator, check dates on items in bottles and jars to make sure they are still in date. IF you can, pull out the refrigerator and check behind to make sure nothing has fallen since the last cleaning. Wipe down the outside of appliances with a soft cloth and a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach and 4 cups of warm water. Welcome to Cindy Haynes


Cindy is the new Family FSS Coordinator

Please watch for flyers for the following events:

Cindy graduated from ETSU in 1979, and worked for Highlands Community Services until 1982. After moving to Knoxville, TN she worked for Beta Home and Douglas Adult Cooperative for several years. She also worked for Holston Home for Children at Dermid Home when she returned briefly to the Tri-Cities, before returning to Knoxville. Cindy moved back to the Tri-Cities for good in 2001

• High School Graduation Celebration

If you need help with rent or other resources, please give Cindy a call at 276 821-6273 GREAT NEWS FOR THE FIND A WAY PLUS PROGRAM!! The ROSS Elderly/Disabled grant was extended for six months!! This is great news for the Find A Way Plus Program. Several programs that were in place will be extended along with a couple of new programs. Watch for flyers with more information about the following programs: • • • • • •

Computer Classes Diabetic Education Garden Bees Music Workshop Weight Loss Rug Making Class

Some of the residents are already enjoying a crochet/weaving class. Public Housing Manager, Shiela Wambolt is teaching the class. Participants are doing a great job and enjoying themselves tremendously.

• A Father’s Day Program • Self-defense training for youth GREAT NEWS FROM THE FIND A WAY PROGRAM Now is a really exciting time to be part of the Find-A-Way family. We have had our first two graduates. One of our participants worked really hard while enrolled in the program, has completed her goals and is buying her own home! Another participant has graduated and moved into a private home. She hopes to purchase a home soon. We are excited for these families and so glad to have had a small part in what they have accomplished. We have another participant who is within a couple of months of her graduation. She is also planning to buy her own home. She has completed a Homeownership class and is in the process of qualifying for a mortgage. Her dream will become her reality very soon!! In the Find-A-Way program we provide help and support for you and your family as you set goals and work to make your dreams become YOUR reality. We will help you to make contact with those who can help with education and job skills training. We can help you find a job or help find a better job. As you work toward independence, we are right there beside you helping you and encouraging you every inch of the way. We also provide additional help and support through various workshops and training opportunities right here in the FAW office. If you are interested in making a better future for yourself and your family, call Lynn Pannell at 276-821-6270 or come by her office in the “O” Building at 600 W. Mary Street.


Usually we don’t give much thought to where we stow things, but perhaps we should. Choosing the wrong place may shorten the shelf life of some items and increase the health risk of others. Consider these words of wisdom when deciding where your belongings should and shouldn’t go. Toothbrushes Worst Place--The bathroom sink-it’s too close to the toilet! Best Place--Behind closed doors, in a medicine cabinet or a nearby cupboard Medicine Worst Place--The medicine cabinet. A steamy bathroom can reach up to 100 degrees, which could affect the potency of many common medicines. Best Place--A cool, dry place like a pantry or hall closet. Coffee Worst Place--The refrigerator or freezer. Many people think cold storage helps to preserve the freshness and flavor of coffee. Every time you retrieve it, however, the resulting temperature fluctuation produces condensation and the moisture causes it to loose flavor. Best Place--In an opaque, airtight container that’s stored either on the kitchen counter or in the pantry Handbags Worst Place--Any surface normally used for food preparation or eating. Handbags are terrific microbe magnets carrying about 10,000 bacteria. It’s not surprising, though, when you think of all those nasty spots were we park our handbags, bus seats, restaurant floors, bathroom stalls. Best Place--A drawer or chair--any place except where food is prepared or eaten

can impact performance as well. Best Place--In a dry environment at room temperature. Make sure, too, that the contact surfaces aren’t touching. Television Worst Place--Wherever you dine. Research show that TV watching encouragages mindless eating. Best Place--Up or down a flight of stairs from your kitchen. when snacks take more effort to get to, you’ll be less likely to munch while watching Nightime Reading Light Worst Place--Overhead. These fixtures emit a relatively bright light-enough to significantly delay the body’s secretion of the hormone melatonin, according to research. This can set you up for a restless night since melatonin levels are a major cue for your body to prepare for sleep. Best Place--Anywhere but the bedroom. A better lighting alternative is a low powered light clipped to your novel. It provides enough light to read but leaves the room dark enough for your brain to transition to sleep mode.

Batteries Worst Place--The refrigerator. Cold temperatures affect the integrity of household batteries and hot temperatures WORK ORDER E-MAIL FOR ROUTINE WORK ORDERS We now have a way for our residents to report ROUTINE work orders after hours. You can email your request for Routine Work orders to 24 hours 7 days a week. Please continue to call 276-642-2006 during normal business hours for any work orders. Call 276 642-2006 after hours for EMERGENCY WORK ORDERS ONLY! Below is a list of items that are considered emergencies by Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority’s Maintenance Policy.

Maintenance Emergencies • Broken window on main level • Broken water line that cannot be shut off • Stopped up sewer line • Stopped up commode (if only 1 in unit) • No heat in apartment if outside temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit • Leaking domestic hot water heater • Cannot shut and / or secure front or rear entry door and main level windows • Refrigerator not cooling (Friday Afternoon only) • No electrical power in apartment • Gas leak in or around an apartment • Stopped up sink in Jones Manor and Stant Hall only • Locked out of unit (must have BRHA

ID badge)

BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012 REMINDERS FROM MANAGERS PET POLICY Your pet must be approved by management before taking the pet to your unit. To have your pet approved you must pick up the pet application and pet agreement at the front desk and take it to the veterinarian. Once the veterinarian has completed the paperwork, it must be returned to the front desk along with a photo of your pet. If you cannot supply a photo of your pet, your pet application will be incomplete. Incomplete pet applications will not be approved. You will be contacted by management once your pet is approved or denied. No one can pet sit and guests cannot visit with their pets. Unauthorized pets in your unit is a violation of your lease terms, possibly resulting in an eviction notice being processed. UNAUTHORIZED GUEST No one can occupy a unit without applying, going through the screening process and being approved by management. Once approved they must sign on the lease before ever occupying your unit. Unauthorized occupants, barred persons, and evicted persons staying in your unit is a violation of your lease terms, possibly resulting in an eviction notice being processed. MOWING SEASON IS HERE!!!!

Mowing Season is here. Please make sure to keep all items picked up from the yard and laundry removed from lines. Mowing will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays (weather permitting). Should weather prohibit mowing on these days, mowers will be here on Thursdays.

BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite Cycle

Full grown

The old saying has become new again. Unfortunately a resurgence in bedbug infestations has made the latter of the old saying harder to do nowdays. Bedbugs do not discriminate between young or old, rich or poor, male or female. Their food source is our body. With this said, the main places bedbugs harbor are beds and couches. Some signs or bedbug infestations include bloodstains on linen, dark stains on mattresses from bedbug waste, musky odors and bite marks. Some precautions residents may take are; never bring in bed frames, mattresses, box spring or upholstery found on the streets into your homes. You should inspect all furniture prior to bringing it in. To combat the pests’ new immunity, BRHA is utilizing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tactics. This is a combination of methods to eradicate pests as quickly and cheaply as possible. One new tactic BRHA is using for bedbug treatment is heat. An adult bedbug has a thermal threshold of 118 degrees and bedbug eggs have a thermal threshold of 122 degrees. This means there is an immediate kill and 100% kill rate when the pest are subjected to these temperature ranges. A recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) highlights the public’s general lack of knowledge about bedbugs and the imperative for continued public education and awareness. Consider these telling statistics: •

45 percent of respondents incorrectly believed that bedbugs transmit disease to humans even though no research to date has shown this to be true.

29 percent of respondents believed that bedbugs are more common in low-in come housing. This statistic is debatable; however, bedbugs show no prefer ence to socio-economic status and are found throughout all segments.

37 percent of respondents said bedbugs were attracted to dirty homes, though bedbugs don’t discriminate against cleaniness.

Only 13 percent of respondent answered all three questions correctly, while a staggering 13 percent of respondents answered all three questions incorrectly.

If you suspect you have bedbugs, call BRHA maintenance immediately. BRHA will not discriminate because a tenant acquires a bedbug infestation. “Let’s stop them critters before they spread.” Trip to Pigeon Forge for Find A Way Plus Participants As part of the Mind, Body, and Spirit Wellness Program some of the BRHA elderly and disabled residents enjoyed a trip to the Aquarium in Gatlinburg. Diana Farris, the Find A Way Plus Coordinator planned a trip for BRHA residents. The residents enjoyed themselves tremendously and hope that future trips may be planned. One of the residents that enjoyed the trip came back with an inspiration for a quilt. Kathy Blair was inspired to make a penquin quilt which she was willing to share. Below is a picture of her work.

• Spring 2012

Scout Pack 500 Pinewood Derby BRHA’s Scout Pack, made up of kids from several public housing communities, along with the Boys & Girls Club Pack met at the Resident Services Building to participate in the Annual Pinewood Derby race. In months prior to the event, kids made their own race cars to compete in a double elimination competition. The Derby is one of those games where Scouts make their own cars by sanding down a piece of wood, painting it, and attaching the axels and wheels. They get to race the cars at the derby. Congratulations to the young men in BRHA’s Scout Pack who were 2nd and 3rd place winners! Also, many thanks to Heather Suess, District Executive of the Sequoyah Council BSA, and her Program Aide, Isaac Culbert. They help run 13 packs within the Tri-City area. BRHA offers the Scout program to all public housing young men who are in 1st-5th grade. The Scout Program offers “games with purpose” to its curriculum to help youth understand the importance of team work, sportsmanship, and individual accomplishment. The Cub Scout program meets every Monday at 4:00pm at the Resident Services Building.

BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012

Find a Way-Plus The Find-a-Way Plus (FAWP) programs “Mind-Body-Spirit” wellness program offered a variety of activities for FAWP clients. Clients learned new skills through the computer and pottery classes, while participation in the tai chi, diabetes and health care classes allowed them to gain independence by encouraging healthy lifestyles. Congratulations to the clients who earned their CPR certifications and Cooking Camp certificates! The FAWP was developed to provide Residents who are elderly or persons who have a disability a way to improve their lifestyle by coordinating community services and developing activities to maintain their independence as long as possible. For more information on the Find-a- Way Plus program, contact Diana Farris, Coordinator, at 276821-6269.


BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012


May 13

Motherhood is a tough 24 hour job,no pay,no day off, sometimes it is unappreciated, but yet resignation is impossible. A mother is a woman created by God to bring love, joy, happiness and caring into his world. I am so glad God has created a woman to be a mother, even though motherhood is a full time job, a mother’s work is never done. Happy Mother’s Day.

What Is A Dad? A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again. A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes, but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt. A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail...

JUNE 17 11

How to reach us: Main Phone: Fax: E-mail: Web site:

(276) 642-2001 (276) 642-2015

Property Managers: Patricia Tignor (276) 821-6257 Shiela Wambolt (276) 821-6263 Maintenance:

(276) 642-2006

Mission Statement The BRHA will provide safe, attractive, affordable housing and housing assistance, and the opportunity for families and others in need to achieve a higher standard of living.

BRHA BEACON • Spring 2012

Dates to Remember BRHA Board Meetings

• Held the third Monday of each month at 1:00 pm


• Public Housing - Online Only-- • Housing Choice Vouchers - Each Tuesday of the month beginning May 1st

Office Closing: Friday April 6--Good Friday Monday May 28--Memorial Day Wednesday July 4--Independence Day Mother’s Day--May 13 Father’s Day--June 17

Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority 809 Edmond Street Bristol, Virginia 24201


2012 Spring