Affordable Housing Profiles: Tracey Davis
San Diego Housing Federation newsletter
December 5, 2017
SAN DIEGO - For Tracey Davis, Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, “home is… stability, values, and support.”
As a Resident Services Manager for Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, Tracey Davis plays a pivotal role in enriching residents’ lives at Wakeland communities. From budgeting to training staff, developing curriculum, and managing learning centers, there’s never a dull moment.
“I always feel like I could be doing more, I never feel like I’m doing enough, so that’s what pushes me to do what I do.”
At the heart of Tracey’s work is inclusion and diversity. She believes that these two qualities allow people to understand and learn from one another, so that communities can thrive.
In fact, inclusion has been important to Tracey prior to working at Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. Years ago, when her daughter began to cheer, Tracey saw that the cost of the notoriously expensive sport of all-star cheerleading was deterring many families from participating. With this knowledge, she and a partner incorporated and formed a nonprofit organization for low-income and at-risk youth to participate in competitive cheerleading, called San Diego Show All Star Cheer and Dance. Started in 2007 in the North Park Recreation Center, the program is still going strong today.
Tracey explained that the experience was one of her proudest accomplishments and it continues to be an inspiration for her, “When I see people smile. It’s the little things… it’s providing that experience so that a kid can be a kid and not have to worry about the adult things we have to worry about.”
Her spirit of helping underserved communities continues in her work at Wakeland. When Tracey first began, there wasn’t any training or guidance for the resident service coordinators. She used her knowledge and experience from the nonprofit sector to pioneer the organizational structure for the resident service providers. Outside of Wakeland, Tracey has also played an integral role in the Resident Services Support Network (RSSN) with SDHF. RSSN brings resident service providers together from around San Diego County with educational workshops and networking events to collaborate and celebrate the work they all do.
“The (RSSN training) workshops have helped me become a great listener. I’ve learned that you don’t have to say anything, you can just listen to somebody. I’ve learned to ask questions, instead of telling people what to do. I’ve learned to ask questions to really understand what someone’s going through.”
With 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector under her belt, Tracey feels there are new lessons to learn every day. Calling herself a life-long learner, she feels encouraged and excited by new possibilities and opportunities for growth. Wakeland’s Atmosphere Apartments in Downtown San Diego offers Tracey a valuable learning experience with its incorporation of permanent supportive housing units.
“It’s an overall exciting feeling when you have a new property because there’s something to learn. I’m excited about that because it’s another area that I’m going to learn, because I’m not too familiar with the whole supportive housing and how to help. So, I feel that’s a growth opportunity for me.”
The new permanent supportive housing units reflect the inclusive work that Tracey has always aimed to provide within marginalized populations. She believes that anyone who makes an honest living should be able to have a safe, affordable place to call home.
We at the San Diego Housing Federation, acknowledge the compassion, resourcefulness and persistence Tracey exhibits, making sure residents have the resources they need to accomplish their personal and professional goals. For these reasons, Tracey was awarded the Outstanding Service to Residents award at this year’s 2017 Ruby Awards.
“I felt like I was at the Oscars, I was like oh my god my work is being recognized, I am doing a good job.”
Tracey, we are sincerely grateful for all your hard work and we can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish in 2018!