The City’s Human Rights Awards have been honoring individuals, businesses, or organizations whose ongoing work, service, or contributions have positively impacted Human Rights either locally or abroad since 1984. On October 10th, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission announced that Tashundra Marshall has been named this year’s Isabel Turner award recipient.
Many community members may know Tashundra from the work she has done over the past 15 years at The Housing Fellowship. Others may know her as an active parent in the Iowa City community, having been involved in the busy daily academic and extracurricular activities that mean so much. One thing that all who have met her know is that Tashundra is committed to helping others and doing so in a respectful, kind, and supportive way.
“Not only is Tashundra the nuts and bolts of the organization, she is the heart and soul.” said Executive Director, Simon Andrew.
Tashundra’ s role as Chief Operating Officer at The Housing Fellowship makes her not only a key representative for the agency, but a vital and caring face for those she serves each day. It is one amazing feat to navigate the rules and regulations that come with the funding of affordable housing and its layers of required government compliance and Tashundra not only does it, but she makes it look easy. And if that isn’t enough to keep her occupied, Tashundra is often the first person who clients meet as they work closely with her to make their way through difficult financial and critical housing circumstances.
All of this care, patience, and skill served her and the Fellowship’s families well over the past few years as staff dealt with an unprecedented period of pandemic-related stress, confusion, and fear. During this time, Tashundra put her head down, researched, collaborated, and learned about new funding sources and requirements, assisted those on the verge of losing everything, and provided gentle and clear guidance that helped lead us to where we are now. Her University of Iowa Sociology degree clearly continues to bolster her skills in this difficult work, and sometimes her Certification as a Tax Credit Professional takes a back seat to address these more urgent matters.
Tashundra prioritizes people and their families, and she fosters strong relationships. She knows most of the residents by name, and her foundation of service is based upon dignity and respect. It is clear through her actions that she will always do her level best for anyone who walks through the door of the Housing Fellowship, calls, or emails the organization.
The Housing Fellowship believes that if folks can afford their rent, utilities, and insurance, with money available at the end of the day for food and other necessities, and if they like where they live, they will stay. And not only will they stay, but they will thrive. Safe, permanent, and decent housing contributes to the stability of families, neighborhoods, the economy, and the community.
It is people like Tashundra who make The Housing Fellowship a continued community success as she exemplifies our mission of providing safe, decent, and affordable housing.