A Legacy of Service

January 15, 2024

Teyona Richmond is the Director of Property Management for Roof Above’s Single Site Housing programs. While she oversees SECU The Rise on Clanton, Moore Place, Forest Pointe Place, and Centre Terrace, she’s currently based at The Rise.  

 

Virginia White is a Tenant Support Specialist (TSS), working third shift, at The Rise. Beyond helping tenants with tangible needs, she talks with them when they need emotional support. If they’re struggling with rules, she reminds them: “We have rules here because the world has rules. You need to live as good citizens. This is to help you.” 

Both say their workdays are interesting with lots of moving parts. Teyona says, “In permanent supportive housing, you’re a little bit of everything, like the property manager or facilities or a counselor. One of the beauties about harm-reduction housing is that you’re really just meeting people where they are.” 

These women share much more than a common workplace though. They’re mother and daughter. Virginia raised Teyona with the tenet “to whom much is given, much is required.” She herself was raised in a home where “the doors were always open.” Virginia says, “Our family has always been driven to give back because it is favor that you’re still able to have what you have. You have to make sure somebody else is taken care of.” 

Teyona has worked in affordable housing for a decade, but it was her younger daughter, Virginia’s granddaughter, who introduced her to Roof Above. She wanted to do a service project helping those experiencing homelessness for her tenth birthday. They partnered with another organization and came to the Day Services Center.  

Teyona joined the Roof Above team about three years ago, about a year after her younger daughter’s service project, and Virginia joined the team over a year ago after retiring from a thirty-year career in communications. While they try to separate family and work, Teyona appreciates her mom’s role at Roof Above. She says, “At Single Site, focusing on de-escalation has been pivotal. We’re so much more involved and there’s more personalization. The TSSs are one of my foundational points. I’m overseeing so many sites, and I can’t put my eyes and ears to everything. I rely heavily on them.” 

Because Virginia works third shift, tenants’ needs can’t always be addressed right away. She writes detailed reports so that the office managers and case managers stay informed. She says, “It’s somebody’s story who needs something.” 

Together, Virginia and Teyona are continuing to cultivate a legacy of serving others in need. 

Teyona Richmond is the Director of Property Management for Roof Above’s Single Site Housing programs. While she oversees SECU The Rise on Clanton, Moore Place, Forest Pointe Place, and Centre Terrace, she’s currently based at The Rise.