Few people have worked with Sojourner House as long as Steven Renfro. Mr. Steve, as he is known here, has been our Property Maintenance Manager for almost two decades, maintaining the spaces that are most critical to our mission. His care helps to provide the women and families we serve with warm, safe living spaces while they heal, reconnect, and recover.
Perfection for Inspection
In 2002, Steve first found his way to Sojourner House through a family member and then employee. At the time, the annual Housing and Urban Development inspections were coming up. As Steve had years of experience as a contractor, he was recommended as a helping hand to enhance each of our properties.
Steve was handed a long list of updates and upgrades, at which point he made a commitment to help Sojourner House ace its inspection. With his help, our organization received a perfect score of 100.
Steve was soon hired as a full-time staffer. Now, under his watchful eye, Sojourner House continues to receive perfect scores in all inspections.
The Right Fit
As Property Maintenance Manager, Steve is always in motion. He cares for the 60 units in the four Sojourner House and Sojourner House Moms buildings. He also prepares apartments for new families, oversees necessary repairs, and organizes bids for the organization’s larger projects and programs.
Steve especially likes working with the volunteer groups that lend a hand to Sojourner House.
Carefully considering how a volunteer’s time is best spent, he ensures that those donating their time and skills see what they’ve accomplished and understand how their hard work enriches the residents’ lives.But Steve considers the children who live at Sojourner House the best part of his work.
“I like interacting with the kids,” Steve says. “A lot of times, I’m the only male figure they see. So when I come to the apartment, I’ll get on one knee, to be down on their level to talk to them.”
While mothers often tell their kids to stop and let him work, Steve loves to spend time with the littlest residents of Sojourner House.
Pride in a Job Well Done
Whatever repairs or emergencies come up in a day, Steve doesn’t lose his smile or forget the impact of his work. Between his sunny disposition and his decades of expertise, Steve finds it hard to think of anything that is “difficult” about his job.
“I’m just trying to help everybody as much as I can, because this is a very stressful job for everybody. And I think we all should pitch and try to help each other where we can. So I never have a problem.”
Steve’s commitment to taking care of the women at Sojourner House goes beyond just his work day: “I give every one of my holidays to cook for the girls if they want somebody to grill. I’ll come out on Christmas, I’ll come out on Thanksgiving, on any holiday.”
Many lives at Sojourner House are certainly made easier by the warm smiles, skilled work, and ongoing care that Steve brings.
While Steve is very proud of the work he does, he simultaneously downplays the integral part he plays at Sojourner House: “I’m a person that likes to help people. So that’s what I do. I like helping people and to make their life easy.”