NBHA Grant Coordinator Receives Recognition For Her Dedication To The Community

Shamira Cruz Named RSC of the Month by New England Resident Service Coordinators, Inc.

NORTH BERGEN, NJ – Shamira Cruz, the ROSS Grant Coordinator for North Bergen Housing Authority, has been named the RSC (Resident Service Coordinator) of the Month for September by New England Resident Service Coordinators, Inc. because of her commitment and dedication to the tenants served through the NBHA.

Shamira’s colleagues describe her as energetic, outgoing, well-liked and well-received by her community. Having lived in supportive housing herself in the past, Shamira exemplifies the philosophy of providing the best possible quality of life for tenants without prejudice of any kind. She promotes this philosophy not just through words, but through her everyday actions while at work. Shamira does not believe in “no, it can’t be done” – instead she fights through whatever obstacles arise for tenant’s rights every day and seeks out grants, however small or large, for programs that will benefit them.

“I am so proud of Shamira Cruz. I’ve always appreciated her work ethic and her tireless effort in helping our tenant community, but to see an outstanding organization like NERSC recognize her work is quite satisfying and is another positive reflection on the NBHA,” said Gerald Sanzari, Executive Director of the NBHA.

Shamira is bilingual, and since most of the population that she serves only speaks Spanish, she uses her unique skills to work tirelessly at ensuring that her tenants are receiving the appropriate State and Federal benefits that they are entitled to. She also ensures that tenants who want to become U.S. Citizens are referred to free citizenship classes, including a program that subsidizes the cost of the U.S. Citizenship application for income eligible participants. Tenants who want to learn English are now also provided with English as a second language classes in the community rooms at the North Bergen Public Library (NBPL). Shamira also ensures that each education and service provider we enlist support from gives information in both English and Spanish in order to facilitate learning for the majority of our population.

The NBHA is a recipient of the Residents in Self Sufficiency Grant (ROSS) from HUD; largely due to the hard work of Shamira and her collaborations with the numerous partner organizations she has cultivated relationships with that benefit her community. This includes critical partnerships with local organizations to host seminars throughout the year (geared towards the elderly, the disabled, youth and families) on a variety of health related topics. For example, Shamira brought in Planned Parenthood to provide health info sessions for youth and young adults; and events for seniors to make sure they are thriving and living full independent lives in the community.

Shamira’s department also received acclaim for their development of “The Senior Moment Project” in conjunction with The Act Now Foundation (ANF), a local Alzheimer’s and dementia non-profit organization from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officers in 2017. The project continues to thrive under Shamira’s direction.

In response to being recognized, Shamira said, “The work I do plays an important part in my life as well as others. It brings great joy to know that others feel comfortable working with me. Assisting others comes easy to me. I enjoy being able to refer residents to programs they need or may not have known about. Working with families and seniors is a passion of mine.”

Shamira is a thoughtful leader who seeks to ensure that her community receives the best support and services possible. Going above and beyond the call of duty is inspiring. Way to go Shamira!