Alyssa Parker joined APAH in 2022 through Virginia Housing Alliance’s AmeriCorps VISTA program. In just a year, Alyssa contributed to data analytic priorities and created a framework to support resident services as APAH expands regionally.
Prior to APAH, Alyssa received a Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies from West Virginia University, a Bachelor of Science in Soil and Crop Science from Colorado State University, and a Master of Arts in Global Environmental Policy from American University. In addition to Alyssa’s impressive educational background, she served in the military for four years as a food inspector and, afterwards, the National Guard for three years.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alyssa was an AmeriCorps VISTA in Indianapolis at one of the largest food banks in the Midwest, which served 21 counties. A lack of public transportation in rural areas inhibited community members from receiving supplemental food, so she started an innovative home delivery program that used DoorDash to deliver food by mapping out delivery routes and managing logistics.
Alyssa was able to bring her mapping expertise from the food bank to APAH while developing her skills in data analysis. One of Alyssa’s major projects was creating a “community scan” framework for Loudoun View Senior Residences. A community scan is a multidimensional analysis of a geographic area that identifies needs, resources, partnerships, and opportunities for new services. Because Loudoun View is APAH’s first property Loudoun County, the community scan framework provided valuable insights for resident services in a new jurisdiction.
Alyssa’s community scan is a digital map that tracks amenities available to our Loudoun View residents including public transportation, grocery stores, community centers, and other resources. This project has been essential to strengthening our resident services offerings for seniors living at Loudoun View. For example, Alyssa discovered that the bus stops closest to Loudoun View, although only a six-minute walk away, are located downhill from the property, making it inaccessible to some senior residents. Alyssa’s community scan framework quickly identified this obstacle and APAH intends to apply her work to future properties as we expand regionally.
APAH helped Alyssa explore the intersections between climate, food, and housing and she developed a passion for improving lives not only through public policy. Alyssa shared that the underlying pattern in her career choices is a response to the question, “How will vulnerable people be impacted [by societal issues] and how can we mitigate vulnerabilities in our community?”
When her program with APAH ends, Alyssa wants to continue working in a space where she can positively impact people facing big societal issues.