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Vinfen Commits to Creating Homes

Vinfen is thrilled to share that our residential home rankings have increased dramatically within the last five years. This success is due to a collaboration of Vinfen Interior Design, Facilities, and Real Estate teams who commit to making sure the spaces where people we serve live feel like home.

Every year Vinfen surveys people who receive residential and day services at Vinfen. We ask them to give their house a grade (A, B, C, D, or F) and to tell us how happy they are with the space they call home. “Inspections are performed by our in-house Real Estate Inspector. All congregate homes, administrative buildings, and day programs are formally inspected and ranked at least once per year to confirm that standards are being upheld,” Vinfen Vice President of Housing Development Pat Cooper explains.

Many factors go into the development of a home, which include making sure building exteriors are up to code, the location of a residence is safe, common areas are in great condition, necessary renovations have been completed, all spaces are well maintained and functional to a diverse array of needs, and creating a beautiful space that is clean and reflects the culture or personalities of the people who live there. One of the spectacular individuals who works toward this development is Vinfen Real Estate Inspector Darcey Ashley, who is committed to inspecting each property that Vinfen owns and leases to make sure all these items exceed expectations. “As a company our goal is to have properties rank a B or above. If a program is below a B, we will look at what areas of improvement through a capital project, asking the landlord to make some improvements or have the decorator go out to make the program more home like,” Darcey says.

Vinfen’s Interior Decorator Kerri Ahern has her own unique process to make sure the people we serve are happy. “I begin each process by creating a mood board of ideas based off of an initial consultation at each program, where I view the spaces, hear the ideas from staff, as well as the people who live in the home. With those ideas, I then shop the items both online and at local shops, keeping track of budget and inventory. Once the items have been acquired, I then begin the installation process. Each program takes about a month from beginning to end to complete,” Kerri shares.

Kerri enjoys creating an enjoyable space for the people we serve. “I think it’s very important to recognize that Vinfen not only provides a house for the people we serve, but we want to provide a home. There is a big difference. Our surroundings and environment play a big part on our mental well-being and I have always felt that to be true. It is my responsibility to help create a sense of comfort and home for the people we serve while implementing Vinfen’s Decorating and Standards guide,” Kerri explains. Kerri has been in her position for over 8 years now and thinks her job is absolutely rewarding as she is able to channel her creativity while helping others. “I believe it is our goal to continue improving all of Vinfen’s properties and continue on a path of caring for the people we serve and the homes they live in,” Kerri adds.

Vinfen indeed values the importance of a home being welcoming, safe, and joyful. “Within the past three years, rankings have increased from 49% Vinfen properties scoring an 80% or above to 97% properties scoring an 80% or above,” Pat shared. Vinfen is devoted to increasing the overall satisfaction of residences. “Facilities Department standards, industry and funder regulations, and comprehensive inspection checklists are the primary tools for achieving our mission and objective,” Pat added. “2015 began with 35 sites scoring an 80% or above. By the end of 2018, those numbers had increased to 85 properties scoring an 80% or above,” Pat continued.

This achievement is a direct reflection of Vinfen’s mission, vision, and values, and on the dedication of Vinfen staff who want to provide a comfortable space that a person can call home. “A combination of planned capital work, the attention given by our in-house Real Estate Inspector, the efforts of our in-house Interior Decorator, and program engagement is resulting in year over year improvement in our overall property rankings. This initiative has been an incredible example of collaboration at its best, and it’s inspiring to see the synergy, which resulted from everyone working together,” Pat says.