Maximus Launches Program to Connect & Support Multifamily Communities during Shelter In Place
In recent weeks, home has become the stage for just about everything in our lives. For the majority of Bay Area residents, it’s now where we work, teach, learn, sweat, dine and more. And, just as we’re finding a new meaning for home, community support is more meaningful than ever before. In an urgent response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Shelter In Place mandates, Maximus introduced a comprehensive, multi-faceted plan to support its residents and employees, both physically and financially. By quickly creating targeted working groups to guide specific initiatives, maintaining clear communication with residents, and creating a best-in-class community offering, Maximus has positioned its communities for success at a time when many other owner/operators are playing catch-up.
Developing Working Groups to Maximize Communication
To effectively respond to and manage this unprecedented situation, Maximus leadership first created targeted groups to help address specific business concerns. An Assistance Task Force was formulated to tackle rent-related concerns, a Community Care group focused on assembling resources, virtual entertainment and local partnerships within the community. This included a special focus on aid and assistance for seniors and those with special needs. Communication Ops handled messaging, Corporate Ops focused on risk analysis, the New Market group led innovation and virtual initiatives to help with resident retention and new business, and External Communications connected with government officials to stay abreast of regulatory changes.
With new information emerging on almost a daily basis, keeping open lines of communication with residents is paramount. First and foremost, people want to know that their homes are safe. Maximus suspended all legal actions, late fees and other charges related to non-payment in early March, and has suspended all late notices, late fees, and other additional charges. An “Assistance Request Checklist” was delivered to residents who expressed the need for relief, and a regular email cadence was developed to easily connect residents to members of the different working groups.
Maximus’ ‘Community Care’ Initiative
To help extend comfort, security and connection to residents within each of our communities, Maximus developed a first of its kind Community Care program, encompassing a number of different initiatives. A special web portal was developed to allow residents easy access to daily community updates, virtual events and entertainment, handpicked content on everything from local delivery services to childcare activities, and valuable information on the many complimentary support resources extended to them.
Our Parkmerced community is offering a partnership with Homeownership SF, providing residents with access to an exclusive Financial Assistance Video Series. Customized for Parkmerced residents, the series explores hot topics like navigating unemployment and how to manage finances during an emergency. We have also retained a group of finance professionals to provide free housing counseling sessions to assist residents with home budgeting and targeted planning in the wake of COVID-19.
In addition to financial health, Maximus recognizes the need for mental health and wellness within its communities, and is offering subsidizing free and reduced-cost therapy options from accredited practitioners. A three month partnership with Concern, a leading provider of wellness tools for Bay Area companies, allows residents unlimited self-help and life balance resources via Concern’s online portal. Maximus has also prepaid for three free video or phone counseling sessions from the company to assist residents who may need a little extra help coping with added stress.
Image credit: Scott Broome
Additional regularly scheduled wellness programming includes virtual fitness classes and virtual meditations, hosted live for all interested residents. Site staff are also conducting wellness checks on its senior community and those with special needs, offering delivery services for groceries and other essential items. Whereas some businesses have had to unfortunately reduce their workforce, we have added 16 new maintenance and management positions to the team to help meet the needs of our community. Public safety has also been increased by adding four SFPD officers and two patrol vehicles to the existing security infrastructure.
As creators of community and lifestyle, we understand the desire for connection, purpose and a sense of belonging. Each Maximus property was built with community in mind: with shared amenities like gyms, pools, dog parks and beyond. Our shared spaces foster an environment of connectivity and, since we have had to temporarily close non-essential amenities, we responded by implementing new virtual programs to help foster a sense of community and collective well-being. These include activities for adults, families and seniors.
We’re also keenly aware that our community stretches far beyond our residents, which is why we’ve worked to create partnerships and programs with the local restaurants, retailers and service professionals that make up the heartbeat of our communities. If our neighborhood economy is strong and we all continue to support one another, we will all emerge from this situation stronger and more united than before.
The Maximus team’s utmost priority right now is to support its residents and employees through this unprecedented time. We want to extend a warm heartfelt thanks to on-property and remote staff for making all this possible, and to all of our community residents for showing us the meaning of neighborly support during challenging times. We are all in this together, and we will rise with a renewed sense of commitment, determination and, mutual trust and mutual responsibility.