Angela Hall has been part of Harmony House since before its doors formally opened to the community.
Back in 1989, two months before New Community welcomed families into Harmony House, Hall was hired as a youth worker and underwent weeks of intensive training.
Twenty five years later, she remains a pillar of the 102-unit transitional housing facility for homeless families. Earlier this year, Hall transitioned from her role as the longtime youth coordinator to become a case manager. She said that she took on 10 cases at the beginning of 2016 and continues to coordinate the after school program for Harmony House youth.
“What I admire about Ms. Hall is her work ethic,” said Lisa Chavis, senior case manager at Harmony House. “She has longevity, is thorough, committed to the children, consistent when carrying out her duties,” Chavis added.
Tanya Coleman said that Hall has provided her with counseling when she faced challenges while raising her 12-year-old son, Shakiy, who is autistic.
“She goes above and beyond,” said Coleman, 47, a resident at Harmony House. “She can laugh with you but when it comes to her job, it’s serious.”
For Hall, expanding her duties from a youth coordinator to case manager meant broadening her efforts from helping a child reach his or her full potential to working with a family, and its complex dynamics, to achieve its collective goals.
Once a family is referred through the county welfare office to Harmony House, case managers such as Hall conduct an initial intake to assess the family’s situation, collecting information on their demographics, education, employment plans and barriers that may prevent the family from reaching its goals.
“There’s no mold or directions on how to assist them,” Hall said. “I let them go their way but I also give suggestions so they have another alternative to try if what they do doesn’t work,” she added.
Most residents know Hall for her kind but no-nonsense attitude, according to Kbrina Blount, who lives at Harmony House with her 17-month-old son Lonnie.
“She’s like another mother,” said Blount, 23. “She’s nice but she tells it like it is—no sugar coating.”
Born and raised in Newark, Hall attended 13th Avenue School, 14th Avenue School and graduated from West Side High. She later pursued her education at DeVry University and Robert Morris University. Having grown up a few blocks from 278 South Orange Ave. in Newark, Hall said she feels a strong connection to working in her hometown.
“I’m helping my neighbors,” Hall said. “I’m still a part of this community and I’m able to assist my fellow families.”
Prior to working at Harmony House, Hall worked with mentally and physically handicapped individuals at the North Jersey Developmental Center, first in the kitchen and then in resident living as a human services assistant. She then worked with adolescent boys in Newark who were wards of the state and resided in a group home.