Here at Project Access many of the personal stories of our Residents are filled with a determination for self-improvement and personal growth. Today we highlight one such story.

La’Dia Burden (who works in healthcare billing for insurance companies) and her fiancé, Edwin, are residents of Country Club Verandas in Mesa, Arizona. When they moved-in during the COVID pandemic they experienced difficulty making connections in their new community, giving them a feeling of isolation. They were not alone. Many Residents were experiencing the same feelings or as Harvard Magazine called it in its January/February 2021 issue, “The loneliness pandemic.”

This experience drove La’Dia to attend stretching classes offered by the Project Access Resource Center. Throughout the pandemic Project Access resident events have focused on community building programs while maintaining social distancing practices so that residents can still build community bonds.

After attending her first community event La’Dia started inviting her fiancé, which led them to create new lasting relationships with their neighbors. Now, La’Dia attends every community event and brings new people that she has had an opportunity to meet onsite thus building community one invitation at a time.

“I met Mr. Marshall during one of the stretching classes and he has ensured that this complex becomes more like a home for me than just a living situation,” states La’Dia. “Attending his programs that have continued even throughout the COVID pandemic has given us a reason to continue to meet new people in the community. I appreciate all the kindness he has extended to me since meeting him. Country Club Verandas is the best first-time renter experience I could ask for!”

It’s not a “stretch” to say that the community events have proven to be an appreciated benefit offered by the Project Access Resource Center.

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