By LANCE CRANMER email@example.com
DAYTON, Ohio — Walt Disney may not appreciate calling it, “The Happiest Place on Earth,” but it is certainly the most satisfied spot in all of National Church Residences.
Lyons Place II, a 55-unit affordable senior housing facility managed by National Church Residences located on the campus of the Dayton (Ohio) VA Hospital, celebrated its first anniversary in April with the knowledge that it has the highest overall customer satisfaction rating in all of the organization’s properties.
“Imagine that,” said Francis Jensen, a Navy veteran and the very first resident of Lyons Place II. “This is a wonderful place to live. From the get-go it’s been a Godsend. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
A nationwide survey based on nine components – readiness to solve problems, responsiveness, property appearance/condition, quality of management services, quality of leasing services, quality of maintenance service, property rating, relationship rating and renewal intention – gave Lyons Place II an overall satisfaction percentage of 97.1 percent.
“This translates to happy residents and speaks clearly to our Mission,” said Pam Monroe, National Church Residences Vice President of Property Management. “This quality and level of service is a key factor in building customer loyalty and keep them at the property.”
Shari Hoosier was hired in February 2015 to become the Property Manager at Lyons Place II – bringing with her 17 years of experience in the housing field.
“My philosophy is to try to make it a place where I would want to live,” Shari said. “I wanted a place with a great quality of life and a peaceful environment where people get along and they help each other.”
Being located on the grounds of a VA hospital, Lyons Place II naturally attracted several military veterans to become residents.
“I came for an appointment at the VA and I saw they were building here,” said Melvin Garland, a Marine veteran who moved in last April. “I checked into it at the VA and they got me hooked up. It’s a good location. It’s a safe building. We look out for each other and we have a good time.”
Shari said that several of her residents had struggled with homelessness or had lived in places where they weren’t free to live the way they wanted.
“They did not have their independence,” she said. “This building gave them their independence back. It’s theirs. And it’s an independent environment.”
“The word ‘independent,’ that is a blessing. They don’t hover over you. They’re a helping hand when you need it,” said Harold Owens, Sr., who moved in shortly after the building opened. “You can go to bed a 9 if you want. You don’t have to turn the TV off. I can watch SportsCenter as much as I want to. I do whatever I want to. For a few years you can say I’m doing it my way!”
Charles Wright, a retired business owner who just turned 80, said that he’d lived in other facilities in Dayton, but he never felt at home until he arrived at Lyons Place II in July.
“I couldn’t get acquainted with others (at the other buildings). I came here and within a week’s time I had the whole building around me,” he said. “My kids told me, ‘Dad, it’s really nice to see you happy again.’”
Shari said that a big part of what she and the rest of the staff at Lyons Place II try to do every day is to let the residents know they’re cared for.
“Showing love. Just the act of kindness. Asking how they’re doing. Asking if they need any help,” she said. “If they feel loved, they show love to each other.”
“I’ve been half-way around the world and that’s the one thing that is world-renowned: kindness,” Harold said. “One morning I was depressed and I was coming out of my apartment and I passed by the maintenance guy and he just said something nice to me. It uplifted me. I told him thank you. He didn’t even know why.”
Charles agreed that the staff at Lyons Place II makes all the difference.
“The staff here, no way in the world you could beat this staff. No good reason to even try,” he said. “If you have a problem, they’re on it like stink on a skunk.”
Shari said that when she accepted the position at Lyons Place II she prayed that the people who needed this positive environment the most would find it.
“I got the unique opportunity to meet every resident as they applied. I prayed that God send the people who truly need to be here,” she said. “Since we’ve been here, every service that we’ve needed we’ve gotten. People have donated clothes, food. Every need has been met. That’s a blessing.”
Thinking about the last year he’s spent at Lyons Place II, Francis had one final thought.
“I ain’t going nowhere else but here,” he said. “I’m home. That’s it.”