Meet Mandee: She ROCs!

Meet Mandee Seeley. Mandee joined ROC in 2020 and hasn’t slowed down.  She brings a ton of passion to this work, and we are lucky to have had her join the ranks. We look forward to seeing what else Mandee will do for housing justice in her community. Here is her story:

I have been a housing advocate in Sisters since 2016, the same year my family became houseless upon moving to Oregon. When I lost my job due to COVID in April of 2020, I decided to commit to advocacy full time on a broader level, and a friend mentioned Residents Organizing for Change.

Prior to getting involved with ROC, I had been the only person I knew with lived experience of housing instability that was fighting to end it, and they introduced me to a network of others just like me doing this work, which has fueled my passion and made me want to fight harder for all of us.

I think of ROC as a gateway because other doors have opened since joining and I’m now involved in things I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

In my short time with them, I have gained confidence as a constituent and grown a deeper appreciation for policy work, which has taught me that my story and perspective are necessary when talking to legislators who represent my community.

I’ve been able to participate in a national housing justice narrative fellowship with other advocates with lived experience across the country, creating more connections and a unified voice as we work together on a common goal to end houselessness and housing instability.

I was asked to join the Project Turnkey advisory council that is providing funds to Oregon organizations to turn motels into housing for victims of wildfire and those experiencing houselessness.

I’ve also learned how to help others share their story by speaking to future members at our virtual Housing Opportunity Week which replaced Lobby Day in 2021. None of this would have happened without ROC, and I am so thankful to call myself a member.