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Welcome (and welcome back), Lauren Coursey! | The Homepage

Hazelwood Initiative’s new engagement director was an intern in 2021-2022

By Juliet Martinez, managing editor

I am happy to announce that the vacancy left by Tiffany Taulton in January has been filled. The new director of engagement and sustainability, Lauren Coursey, started on Wednesday, May 29.

A native of Wayne, Pennsylvania, Ms. Coursey received her master’s degree in social work last August.

During Ms. Coursey’s undergraduate internship, she worked with Hazelwood Initiative’s real estate department contacting residents of Greater Hazelwood to tell them about resources and assistance programs that could benefit them.

Since then, she finished her graduate studies and has been working as a housing research and policy associate with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. When we spoke recently, Ms. Coursey told me her work involved a lot of community engagement work around housing policy as well as voting.

She facilitated community conversations in areas with high eviction rates. This was a way to solicit housing policy recommendations from the people most affected: those who have been evicted and applied for assistance programs. She learned a lot about how assistance programs work and how policy affects whether people apply for assistance at all. She shared this knowledge with others as a speaker and guest lecturer on housing policy and tenants’ rights.

“I got a good baseline on housing when I worked at Hazelwood Initiative, and then I went to the Housing Alliance and got a deeper understanding,” she said.

Ms. Coursey said she is excited to come back to Hazelwood because people here truly want the neighborhood to be better for everyone, and for everyone to have what they need.

“I’m excited!” she said. “I’m going to knock on doors, visit neighborhood businesses, get coffee at Hazelwood Café and basically embed myself back into the neighborhood.”

“And I'm going to take the kids on walks, because I know that’s what Tiffany did,” she added.

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