Our Stories

For over 50 years, Oakridge Neighborhood has been changing lives through stable housing and dynamic programming we offer residents and others in the community. Here are some of our #OakridgeStrong stories.

Meet Najamo Abukar

Meet Najamo Abukar

Resident Najmo Abukar is a shining star participating in Oakridge Neighborhood's youth programming. But before joining in Oakridge's afterschool program full-time in 2018, Najmo was quiet and introverted. Her younger brothers were active participants in the youth...

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Taking Their Shot

Taking Their Shot

Oakridge Neighborhood resident Peter Ngo was drawn to my attention by the managing editor of an area television station. He'd received a call from Peter, saying the station only covered news from Oakridge Neighborhood when something negative happened. He wanted the...

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James Turner: Oakridge Neighborhood was “Family”

James Turner: Oakridge Neighborhood was “Family”

James Turner recalls a story from his childhood at Oakridge Neighborhood. "I was on a bike and I tried to jump a dumpster. I cracked my head. Neighbors I didn't know took me to the hospital. It was like that...a strong, positive community and safe. Everyone stuck...

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Shoulders We Stand On

Shoulders We Stand On

President and CEO Teree Caldwell-Johnson was the keynote speaker at a special 2022 Black History Month Celebration which included Governor Kim Reynolds signing Iowa's African American History Month Proclamation. Here are Teree's inspiring remarks: Our gathering today...

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Mike Hill: The Mayor of Oakridge Neighborhood

Mike Hill: The Mayor of Oakridge Neighborhood

Mike Hill is known as "The Mayor of Oakridge." It's no wonder. The long-time facility director at Oakridge can regularly be seen being stopped by residents to chat - about their home, the weather, or goings on in the neighborhood. People look to Mike, and he's there...

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Amran’s Journey: From Somalia to Oakridge

Amran’s Journey: From Somalia to Oakridge

Amran Farah's journey from arriving in the United States 12 years ago to earning a scholarship at a prestigious university exemplifies the power of Oakridge Neighborhood in helping families gain stability while preparing for the next steps in life. Amran was just...

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Saint Matthew Vance: Oakridge Born and Bred

Saint Matthew Vance: Oakridge Born and Bred

Saint Matthew Vance exudes pride that he grew up at Oakridge Neighborhood, living in the community most of his life from birth until he was 35 years old. "When you say you are from Oakridge it sounds like bragging, but it's a sense of pride," he says. "It's pride that...

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