For 20 years, Somerset has partnered with tenant associations, non-profits and resident councils to provide a robust set of Resident Resources and Social Services to the residents of our affordable apartment communities. Over the years, we have learned that it takes much more than bricks and mortar to make meaningful change in historically underserved communities. Recently we have changed the name of our program offerings from “Resident Services” to “Resident Resources” to reflect more accurately the nature of the work we are doing to provide resources and services to residents which will expand their access to opportunity and allow each individual to reach his or her full potential. Somerset’s Overarching Resident Services Objectives, aim to:

  • Create a platform of opportunity and stability
  • Create a healthier and more sustainable community
  • Empower residents by involving them in decision making
  • Encourage successful tenancies

Resident resources are available to all of our affordable properties and serve more than 2,500 low-income residents. On-site Resident Resource managers and coordinators develop and implement on-site programs; cultivate partnerships with expert providers; and provide one-on-one referrals for those in need of assistance. All of our affordable properties are built and maintained to recognized high quality standards such as Enterprise Green Communities to assure healthy living environments. In addition, we have created community gardens on most our properties which are maintained by the residents and are a resource for cooking classes, education, and intergenerational activities. Every property includes a computer room for resident use and training; and for after school programming.

Somerset invests 15% pledge or more of the net cash flow from each property in Resident Resources.

Somerset Development along with our Resident Resources division is celebrating 20 years of business in 2020! Below are some highlights on the impact of Resident Resources for the past 20 years:

Over $5.68 million dedicated to Resident Resources
which leverages much more

About 900 children attend on site after-school
and summer programs

8 graduates of D.C. Central Kitchen’s
Culinary Job Training Program

29 children awarded scholarships to the
Dance Institute of Washington

45 scholarships for higher education and job
training certifications worth
more than $32,000

Over 140 residents placed into jobs

40 partnerships with community organizations

Over $500,000 worth of produce and healthy
meals provided to residents

6 # of community gardens created and maintained by residents

Youth Resources

  • After-school programs and tutoring
  • Summer programs
  • Work opportunities through the DC Summer Youth Employment program, Urban Alliance and an on-site Counselor in Training program
  • Dance Scholarships to the prestigious Dance Institute of Washington
  • Cultural events and educational field trips
  • Healthy meals provided by DC Central Kitchen
  • College & Career Readiness (a new program currently being developed in 2020)

Educational Resources

  • Scholarships provided for college tuition, professional certifications, and training leading to employment
  • Financial Literacy and Banking workshops
  • Computer instruction on site

Employment & Job Skills

  • One-on-one resume & job application assistance with onsite Resident Resource Coordinators
  • Culinary Arts Job Training and Placement with DC Central Kitchen
  • Summer employment opportunities through the DC Summer Youth Employment program
  • One-on-One employment assistance with the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES)

Family & Housing Stability

  • Referrals are provided by Resident Resource Coordinators on such topics as rental and utility assistance, benefits and taxes, employment, education, childcare, and healthcare benefits
  • Food Assistance through Capital Area Food Bank, DC Central Kitchen, the Maryland Food Bank, and Maryland Commission on Aging’s East Together program

Healthy Living

  • Community Gardens
  • Nutrition courses, cooking classes, food budgeting
  • Workshops on diabetes, dental care, blood pressure management, sex education, housekeeping
  • Fitness classes, everything from Zumba to dance and chair exercises for seniors

Community Building

  • Sister circles
  • Movie Nights
  • Current event Discussions
  • Trips and excursions to museums, plays, etc.
  • Book Clubs
  • Holiday parties and community gatherings
  • Game Nights
  • Spiritual Conversation Groups