The honor of September Member of the Month goes to Rhene Ritter! You can find Rhene walking around the office with a smile on her face, always. As the grants and funding coordinator for nonprofit Housing Solutions, her positive outlook and sunshine-like personality are great assets.
Housing Solutions works to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. They are the lead agency for our community's HUD Continuum of Care, A Way Home for Tulsa.
We asked Rhene to answer a few questions for us. Get to know her a little better:
What do you do at Housing Solutions and in what circumstance would I come to you for something?
I am the grants and funding coordinator. You might come to me if you operate a nonprofit that serves people in a housing crisis to work on system planning, collaboration across Tulsa County, and technical assistance for programs that are federally funded.
How do you prefer to start your workday?
I prefer to start my workday fairly early with a walk around the neighborhood with my dog, Josey.
What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
I’m really proud of the fact that I decided to go back to school at age 35 and attained my bachelor’s degree in sociology.
What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path?
After working for local government for over ten years, I thought I’d retire from the city. Instead, I decided to start a new career in the nonprofit sector to help Tulsans experiencing homelessness.
What’s a trip that has changed you, and why?
I attended a conference in Los Angeles and got the opportunity to visit Skid Row, where thousands of people are living on the streets. It was life-changing talking to those residents—hearing how they have built a community and take care of each other. Now, I take any opportunity I can to talk to my friends on the streets and always gain a greater understanding of how a few unexpected events in our lives could lead us down that same path.
What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
I’m trying to learn to kayak. When I got my kayak a few months ago, I was fairly confident about my ability to navigate waterways. I quickly found out there was a lot more to it than just paddling around the water and that kayaks, even when full of water, do not sink. Learning to master it is important because nature and being near the water brings my soul peace; it’s also great exercise.