Disaster Recovery

As California’s Central Coast continues to heal after the recent natural disasters, we are thankful for the many volunteers and community agencies who have stepped up to lend a helping hand through events, fundraisers, donations and volunteerism. Yardi employees and executives have recently contributed to the efforts to dig out Montecito homes that suffered mud and flooding damage in the early January slide. Recovery and restoration efforts are ongoing, and volunteer opportunities are available each weekend. A big thank you to the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival, Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, Foodbank SB, and our many employees for supporting the disaster relief efforts. Learn more and get involved at the links below. Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County: https://www.sbhabitat.org/disaster-response Donations and volunteer hours are needed to assist with the Habitat for Humanity recovery campaign. Weekdays and weekend volunteer hours are available. Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade: www.santabarbarabucketbrigade.org Weekend meetups are available for those who would like to contribute sweat equity to those digging out their homes and properties. Foodbank SB: www.foodbanksbc.org The Foodbank assisted with food distribution during the evacuation period, and volunteer opportunities are always available to help with processing donations and other tasks. Thomas Fire Benefit Festival: www.thomasfirebenefit.com Yardi sponsored the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival in Ventura on February 3 at Plaza Park. 100% of proceeds from the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival will be put toward recovery from the devastating Thomas...

Transition House

There is something special about nonprofit galas: the glitz, the big names, and the buzz of fellowship in the air. But how special would it feel if the gala didn’t exist at all? What if all of a nonprofit’s funds were directed to the people who need it most? Transition House explores the no-ball fundraiser concept with Help-a-Kid No-Ball. Transition House in Santa Barbara provides housing and services for families facing housing insecurity. Heather Stevenson, Grants Manager at Transition House, has seen hardworking families lose everything. “In Santa Barbara, the cost of living is so high that people without a safety net or family support can lose everything when an unexpected crisis occurs,” she said.  “A job loss or a medical emergency might be all that stands between a family that is already poor and homelessness.” She recalls a family that arrived to transition house several years ago. The father, a roofer, was unable to earn pay during one rainy winter month. Though he had part of his rent payment for the next month, he lacked $430. The family lost their apartment as well as all of their possessions. Transition House was there to help. The non-profit offers emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, as well as homelessness prevention services to promote long term stability. Each family obtains the essentials such as three meals each day, clothing and reliable shelter. Case managers and a career development specialist work together with heads of household to improve money management skills, education, and employment preparation. Since the organization exclusively serves families with children, about 60 percent of its residents are under the age of 18. When children enter Transition House, they are able to participate in uplifting programs and interventions that may provide the care and stability...

Yardi United Sep27

Yardi United

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Yardi quickly established relief resources for clients and a donation platform for employees. To date, Yardi employees have contributed thousands of dollars to disaster relief efforts. The Yardi Foundation will match these employee contributions. Thurs far, Yardi has donated a significant chunk of its $1 million foundation pledge to the following organizations: ShelterBox USA specializes in emergency, temporary shelter for families displaced by natural disasters and conflict. The organization estimates that about 85 million people around the world have been made homeless by adverse natural and political conditions. Houston Food Bank leads the fight against hunger by facilitating food access for all. Last fiscal year, the Houston Food Bank distributed 83,000,000 nutritious meals through local organizations. Nearly 20 counties benefit from Houston Food Bank services. OneStar Foundation has partnered with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to rebuild Texas. The organizations set a goal to raise $100 million through concerts, special events, and other fundraisers. To date, the Rebuild Texas Fund has received $68.6 million to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Southeast Texas Food Bank partners with over 130 non-profit agencies in eight counties. The non-profits provide approximately 90,000 meals to people in need each month. Greater Houston Community Foundation is one of the largest grant makers in the region. The Foundation helps donor direct their contributions towards causes that will have profound impact. One grant, the Mayor Turner and County Judge Emmett Establish Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, has raised more than $67,400,400. Coastal Bend Food Banks, formerly Food Bank of Corpus Christi, offers two family programs and three programs that are targeted towards kids and teens. In addition to food security, the organization focuses on nutrition education. St. Bernard Project shrinks the time between disaster and recovery. The...

Storyteller SB Sep12

Storyteller SB

Since 1988, Storyteller Children’s Center has helped Santa Barbara’s homeless and at-risk toddlers achieve kindergarten readiness. Therapeutic preschool and support services provide students will the skills needed to beat the odds and excel. Since our previous article, Storyteller has grown. The second location and its staff are thriving. Even with the second location, the center has a waitlist for enrollments. In 2014, the waitlist averaged 80 families. This year, the waitlist has 144 families. The demand for Storyteller services continues to rise as local families struggle with homelessness, food security, and access to fundamental necessities. More than 90 percent of families serviced live below the 2017 Federal Poverty Guideline of $24,600 for a family of four. Delene Bliss, Director of Development at Storyteller, understands the conditions in which many students live. “That’s not a livable wage,” Bliss said. “That’s just the federal poverty guideline but that wage makes living very, very difficult in Santa Barbara.” About 56 percent of Storyteller families are single income, single parent households. Shelters or crowded, shared residences are what 53 percent of students call home. In addition to precarious living conditions, 43 percent of children strive to learn while managing developmental delays or disabilities. Without the help of Storyteller, these children would risk falling farther behind than their peers. The small classroom settings and one-on-one attention that students receive at Storyteller increase students’ chances for success. Yet in spite of the odds, Storyteller students are flourishing. Storyteller collaborated with the University of California, Channel Island and the University of California, Santa Barbara to conduct a study of Storyteller graduates. Dr. Michael Furlong of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Counseling Clinical and School Psychology program led a team of researchers on a quest to determine the long-term effects of...

Stronger + Smarter Sep07

Stronger + Smarter

Local students are back in class, and that means back to awesome after school activities for the young ladies who participate in Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara’s afternoon programming. Yardi is a longtime philanthropic supporter of Girls Inc.’s efforts in the community. For the second year, this fall a partnership with UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education will expose several dozen fourth to sixth grade girls to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is called the Curie-osity Project (after trailblazing female scientist Marie Curie), and it was a runaway success when it started in Winter 2017. “The girls are exposed to women who are in the STEM profession. They are experiencing hands on STEM projects and having the opportunity to really dive in and and learn about those areas,” said Kristina Webster, director of programs for Girls Inc. The success of the program highlights two of the things the non-profit organization excels at: creating meaningful community partnerships, and enlisting the support of dedicated volunteers. 12 female UCSB scientists donated their time to welcome the Girls Inc. students to their laboratories and offices last year – a similar number will do the same this fall and winter. “We wanted to create a program that combined literacy and science for girls,” said Danielle Harlow, an associate professor of education, in a UCSB press release. Harlow and colleague Diana Arya were the leaders on the UCSB side of the project. “We specifically wanted the girls to come to UCSB’s campus because research tells us that children who spend time on university campuses see college campuses as places they belong and are more likely to pursue higher education,” Harlow said. Last year, the girls in the program learned about how computer programs...

Energized for Tomorrow May17

Energized for Tomorrow

Yardi has been creating real estate software for more than three decades. The company was founded by Anant Yardi in Santa Barbara in 1984, and over the years Yardi has become a respected industry leader and pioneer, providing technology solutions for almost every conceivable real estate vertical. After more than 30 years in the business, you might expect us to be setting the metaphorical cruise control while we enjoy the ride. Time to think again. As we focus on 2017 and beyond, Yardi is proud to unveil a new theme and direction. We are Energized for Tomorrow. Capturing our spirit Energy powers our bodies, our homes and our businesses. It is part of natural processes, people, machinery and technology. Energy is also an invaluable description of spirit. When we say “energized,” you might hear “focused, excited, driven, motivated, ready, enthusiastic, prepared.” But that’s just the beginning. Energy is contagious. It spreads quickly and can power exciting results and success. For us, it all starts in the workplace. We hope to continue perpetuating the positive, supportive, family-focused energy that is part of our longstanding corporate culture beyond our offices. Serving our clients Our clients tell us that they enjoy coming to our Yardi Advanced Solutions Conferences (YASC), as well as the vertical-focused Yardi Forums, because of the spirit of community at Yardi. As we continue to grow globally, we will find new ways to share that energy. Our energy for creative development and progress is frequently powered by our valued clients. We thrive when we listen to their challenges, strategies, struggles and successes. We are energized by creating products that help our clients run their businesses better. Energy is also a very practical consideration for every business owner. No matter what your segment of the real estate industry, providing efficient and affordable utility services and billing is a consideration. Energized for good Finally, we want to use our energy to give back. As part of our philanthropic efforts, we are working to promote the cause of energy efficiency on a national level. We have provided education grants to BOMA, IREM, NAA and BOMI International to move this important work forward. The goal is to help reduce energy use in commercial, residential and mixed-use properties through education and technology. We look forward to sharing more about how we are energized for good in the months to come. This year and into the future, we want to stay Energized for Tomorrow. Thank you for joining us on the...

Honoring Towbes May02

Honoring Towbes

The Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County (HTF) has received a $5,000 contribution from Yardi in honor of the late Michael Towbes, local businessman and philanthropist, and to support the agency’s new South Coast Workforce Homebuyer Program. “Michael Towbes was a champion of workforce housing and was committed to the Housing Trust Fund’s mission to expand workforce housing opportunities. Yardi is pleased to be a ‘seed sponsor’ of HTF’s new South Coast Workforce Homebuyer Program. We hope that our donation in honor of Michael Towbes will inspire other business to contribute to this worthwhile workforce housing program,” said Gordon Morrell, Executive Vice President of Yardi. Michael Towbes served on the Board of Directors of the Housing Trust Fund for 12 years and the agency greatly benefited from his expertise, experience and generosity. The grant award from Yardi will provide key operational support for HTF as it launches the South Coast Workforce Homebuyer Program, which will provide low-cost down payment loans up to $100,000 to help first-time working households buy an entry-level home in the community where they work. The Housing Trust Fund is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to expand affordable rental and homeownership housing opportunities throughout Santa Barbara County for working households and our most vulnerable populations.  HTF operates a countywide $6.7 million Revolving Loan Fund for affordable housing in partnership with community lenders. The loan fund provides short-term, low-cost loans to qualified sponsors of affordable housing for the production, preservation, and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income households. The agency also operates a countywide Workforce Homebuyer Program that provides down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. HTF was created by countywide community leaders to address our region’s critical affordable housing needs by building innovative partnerships between the...

#GivingTuesday Nov23

#GivingTuesday

The highly anticipated in-person deals and online exclusives of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, marking the biggest sales of the season. From gadgets and gizmos to furniture and vehicles, these are two of the year’s busiest shopping days. According to the National Retail Federation, sales in November and December account for as much as 30 percent of annual sales. In 2015, more than 74 million shoppers ventured out on Black Friday, spending an average of nearly $300 per person. For the crowd-opposed or time-strapped, Cyber Monday offers online discounts the Monday after Thanksgiving. Nearly 90 percent of online retailers had Cyber Monday sales, and 45 percent offered coupons or discounted deals. For many, the holiday season also inspires a sense of altruism. After the spending splurge, #GivingTuesday kicks off a movement of paying it forward worldwide. Now in its fifth year, this celebratory event is a global day of giving powered by social media and the spirit of collaboration. #GivingTuesday was created by the 92nd Street Y, a New York City cultural center that has been celebrating diversity and service since 1874. The movement has grown and gone global with the help of influencers from all sectors and walks of life. #GivingTuesday takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. This year, the fifth annual event will be celebrated worldwide on November 29, 2016. Here’s how it works, according to its website: “#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners—...

Nepal Earthquake Apr28

Nepal Earthquake

The devastating earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday has prompted rapid international response to aid the millions of people affected. Thousands of people were killed, with the death toll changing daily, and up to 8 million Nepalese are estimated to be impacted. Shelterbox USA, a disaster support non-profit that is rooted in Rotary volunteerism, immediately dispatched a team to Nepal upon learning of the quake. They will establish a plan for distribution of ShelterBox kits, which allow people to “shelter in place” by providing necessary supplies. Shelterbox kits include a tent, water purification system, solar lamp, blankets, and other basic needs supplies to help people who have been left with nothing after a disaster. Yardi was contributed to Shelterbox in the past, including after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Often, the organization will seek to distribute its relief efforts in rural, hard to reach areas far from the more accessible urban centers, which are plentiful in the mountainous country of Nepal. Shelterbox was prepared in advance for a Nepal response effort, with prepositioned tents ready to go in case of an emergency. Yardi employees and corporate charitable giving program will combine to contribute funds in support of Shelterbox’s Nepalese efforts. The company supports more than 80 non-profit organizations and worthy causes each calendar year. ** Just two months ago, Yardi CSD manager Terry Kelly and his wife Pam took the trip of a lifetime to Nepal, where they assisted with a two-day medical outreach organized by Project for a Village. It was a powerful experience in an remote agricultural area with limited health care resources, Kelly recalled. Kelly said that the epicenter of the earthquake was located close to the foothill valley where the medical team had gone to work with local residents. The 7.8-magnitude quake,...

Ascentia

Throughout its 40-year history, Ascentia has maintained family and unity as the priorities of its manufactured home communities. The Mercy Fund helps the company fulfill its mission, making a positive mark in the lives of residents that can never be erased. After gaining valuable information at a YASC conference four years ago, Yardi client, Ascentia, embarked on a transformation. The company instituted a multifamily model to manage its 7,000 units of mobile homes, reaching a unique market of consumers who were not interested in traditional apartment life or the ties of a mortgage. Amy McKelvy, director of training and development, calls the communities “single-level apartments with grass yards.” “Most of our residents now are young families with children and at least one pet. It’s difficult for them, in some locations, to find affordable living that allows them to have the freedom and the privacy that most people enjoy,” says McKelvy. The multifamily model for mobile homes has experienced great success. Yet through its growth, the family-owned company hasn’t lost sight of its original emphasis on the importance of family and community. The Mercy Fund ensures that Ascentia can support its tenants like relatives. The Mercy Fund is the brainchild of founder B.M. Vukovich, created to help residents through difficult financial times. Employees, investors, residents and other third party participants are encouraged to make donations to the fund throughout the year. The funds are then dispersed to residents with dire need. “The atmosphere inside is that, not only is the staff family but our residents are our family as well,” says McKelvy. The autumn floods that swept through Colorado tested the company’s commitment to its extended family. In September of 2013, the Boulder metropolitan area suffered a deluge, dumping more than 17 inches of water...