“Home is… a place we all deserve – no matter our color, no matter our religion, no matter our beliefs. We all deserve a home.” – Rickie Brown, City Heights Community Development Corporation
Rickie Brown is a helper, a dreamer and most importantly, a friend in her community. As both a property manager and resident of Hollywood Palms in City Heights, she works closely with families in need of support, encouragement or just a friendly face. With the San Diego Housing Federation, she has become one of our go-to volunteers and a strong, fearless advocate.
Rickie has volunteered in every SDHF event in the last four years. She is always one of the first to let us know that she is available to volunteer and help in any way she can, even bringing her colleagues along to volunteer.
This year, as we celebrate the holiday season, we are thrilled to announce that Rickie Brown is the San Diego Housing Federation’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year. Please join us in thanking Rickie for her dedication and amazing cheer at our Holiday Party on December 5th (details below).
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Rickie grew up in the “projects” in Louisiana and understood the importance of affordable housing at a young age. It became her mission to work in the field as an adult. Before moving to San Diego, she worked for low-income housing in Louisiana, but it wasn’t until she worked for the City Heights Community Development Corporation that she truly understood the severity of the housing crisis here in San Diego.
Six years ago her then boss, Hanan Bowman, who was on SDHF’s board of directors, suggested she should get involved. She saw volunteering as a great way to learn more about affordable housing and the issues that surround it. In her words, her favorite moment volunteering has been, “seeing all the people genuinely interested in making affordable housing accessible to other people.”
Rickie participates in the San Diego Residents United Network program through SDHF and Housing California and attends Lobby Day in Sacramento yearly. Her work and volunteerism has given her insight on the importance of affordable housing and shown her the sheer magnitude of people that are suffering from the lack of it. “You need to see the good in everybody. We’re all the same. Some of us are a little less fortunate, but we’re all the same. We’re all deserving of a good life, a safe and a decent life. Basic things. Somewhere clean and safe to live, food on the table, able to take care of our kids.”
Rickie continuously volunteers as a way to continue to learn about affordable housing in order to serve more people. One of the profound lessons she’s learned along the way, is that “if you really know what you’re talking about, and if a senator or assemblyperson or councilmember asks you a question and you can answer without hesitation, you can make a connection and sway that vote.”
As a property manager for Hollywood Palms, a 94-unit affordable housing community, Rickie is a fierce leader and advocate for her residents. She sees the challenges others in need face daily and offers her support and skills. She credits her father with her gift of being able to relate to others easily.
“When something goes wrong with my residents here, I can’t sleep,” Rickie said. In one instance, one of her residents, a mother and wife, passed away from cancer. The woman’s widower came into Rickie’s office desperate, begging for help. The section 8 voucher was under his wife’s name and he was now facing the possibility of being separated from his children. Rickie knew she had to help, but she had no idea how.
That same night, Rickie shot straight up out of bed at 3:00 AM with an idea. “Speak up for them,” Rickie said. She made a call to the San Diego Housing Commission and spoke on his behalf. With her help, they were able to change the voucher to his name. Allowing him the father the ability to stay with his children at Hollywood Palms. “I thought to myself, Lord, if I had died and my children had to split from their father, my soul would not rest.”
“I see the people coming and I see what they’re dealing with. So that’s been my challenge. But having that challenge, has also made me know that this is where I’m supposed to be. I’ve found my purpose in advocating and (have) political aspirations.” These aspirations have led her to take a course in how to run and campaign for political office.
Always a giver – she freely gives all she is able. She lives by the rule that we were put on this Earth to help one another. Rickie remembered the words of a dear friend who passed earlier this September that, “whatever I have, I should share.” Rickie wants to be of service to those in need. “I do it from my heart. I’ll be 59 on Sunday, when I close my eyes, I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to know that when I meet my maker he’s going to say, ‘Servant, well done.’”
Help us say thank you to Rickie for her commitment to serving and for all her hard work in affordable housing!
2017 San Diego Housing Federation Annual Holiday Party and Volunteer Appreciation
Join us on Tuesday, December 5 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm at The Lafayette Hotel for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while you network with colleagues, members, and friends. Help us celebrate our successful year and look forward to 2018 with a special tribute to our volunteers. We look forward to seeing you there! Tax deductible donations will be accepted at the door.
As part of our holiday celebration, we will recognize the 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Rickie Brown for her outstanding commitment and support of the San Diego Housing Federation.
Rickie Brown works with City Heights CDC, but her actions go far and beyond her role at work. She is currently the manager of the Hollywood Palms and Casa del Sol apartment complexes. She is a renter in City Heights and dedicates herself to provide resources, and safe and secure housing for her residents. Rickie has advocated locally & statewide bringing strong attention to the housing crisis as well as utility policy injustices through her ability to passionately present to Sacramento representatives, senators and legislators. Rickie fights for affordable housing and to abate power shut offs as she does not want any of her residents homeless or in the dark. SDHF is proud to have her represent us as a volunteer at our events every year, as she exemplifies what it means to be passionate, kind and hard-working. Congratulations Rickie on your 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award!
REGISTRATION ENDS ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH
Tuesday, December 5
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Lafayette Hotel
2223 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92104
Thank you for supporting SDHF in this past year. With your help, SDHF will continue to work to create more inspiring moments through advocating, informing, expanding the expertise, networking and building of coalitions throughout the region. Each contribution helps advance our mission of working as a coalition to promote the creation of quality affordable housing focused on lower income families and people in need.
The San Diego Housing Federation is once again participating in #GivingTuesday which will fall on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, a global day dedicated to giving. We encourage you to join the movement and visit www.givingtuesday.org to learn more about how you can make a difference.
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Please Donate Today!
This year, we are fortunate to have a match campaign courtesy of San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation that will match every dollar donated up to $4,000.
All donations are tax deductible. Every dollar counts! Thank you for your support! We look forward to a great 2018!