Joshua Alexander's family benefited from services as residents in the White Rock Village community and now Alexander works for the company that gave him so much. Courtesy photo

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Former White Rock Village resident gives back to his community

When Joshua Alexander is not working for Mercy Housing at White Rock Village he is riding his longboard with his brother or playing video games. Alexander, 20, was recently hired by Mercy Housing, an apartment complex that he and his family lived in for five years.

“I am really grateful to Mercy Housing for having after school activities for youth because it really made a difference,” said Alexander, who has been hired as a janitor, recalls.

Alexander has been all about making a difference since he started living at WRV. He started volunteering with youth and the after school programs the summer he moved into the apartments. “I volunteered to stay productive and out of trouble,” he explained. “I really enjoyed it and it developed my communication and leadership skills.”

Alexander said that the best part about volunteering was “getting to ‘boss’ the kids around.” When he and his brother Caleb Alexander, who received a Youth Star Award for his volunteer work, were not bossing around the kids they were cooking hotdogs and burgers at community meals, tutoring kids or chaperoning youth at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pool.

“Josh has been all about contributing to his community since he lived here. It is great to see him now working here at White Rock Village and continuing to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Eddie Zacapa, the resident services coordinator at the property.

White Rock Village is a property of Mercy Housing in El Dorado Hills that provides affordable housing to create stable and healthy communities by developing, financing and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities.

“It is nice to work for White Rock because I know the residents and I am familiar with their needs,” Alexander said. “I enjoying going to work every day.”

Alexander and his family moved to Barstow in December 2015. His mother got a job and they both started college. He said he and his brother decided to move back to El Dorado Hills to help contribute to the household income.

The position at Mercy Housing is his first full-time job.

His mother was working in Apple Valley in Southern California and coming to visit them on the weekends, when they first moved back to El Dorado Hills. “My stepdad had cancer and I was going down to visit him and my hip was injured as well,” said Charlene Alexander. “So that is why we moved down there initially. He (step dad) needed me and I needed to heal.”

“We weren’t in a good area,” said Charlene, who recently got a job with El Dorado County Education as a program assistant said. “There wasn’t opportunities for them like there are here.”

She said their neighbor was killed by a homeless person and it wasn’t a healthy environment and that it was “better to bring the boys back.”

“I really thank God for White Rock Village because it really was a blessing for us,” Charlene continued. “All the support we got there and the services and programs were just amazing. So many gave to us there and I think that is why the boys give back the way they do.”

Joshua, who moved back to El Dorado Hills in November, plans to attend Folsom Lake College in the fall, taking night classes online so that he may continue to work with Mercy Housing.

He said he really appreciates working with Dion Espinoza, the maintenance manager. “Dion is a good mentor and is teaching me the ropes,” Joshua explained. “I am grateful to work with him and to be able to learn from him.”

Chirin Bekir, property manager at WRV, said, “We are expecting Josh to be the responsible young man he has the potential to be. We would like to see him grow with the company.”

Special to Village Life

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