Later, an opportunity to help a struggling condo complex came her way. It was in a rough area of town and the complex was known for drugs, violence, and gang activity. The financial picture was bleak, and the HOA was all but bankrupt. By the time Action was hired and Valerie got involved, the city had appointed a receiver to take over.
With many of the units occupied by renters who had little regard for the rule of law, Valerie saw an opportunity to help the innocent homeowners in the community. She convinced Action to let her take a chance, and she got busy cleaning house.
As she looked into financial records, it became clear that everyone involved with the association was stealing from it. Her first job was to educate the board members regarding their fiduciary duties. Next, she made sure that the homeowners were properly assessed. Finally, she addressed the problematic tenants. By working together with law enforcement and the on-site security team, many people moved out.
Even as gunfire echoed nearby during board meetings, Valerie remained undeterred. Her end goal was a better quality of life for everyone, so eviction wasn’t the only offensive strategy. Allowing people to be heard also went a long way.
One gang member was feeling harassed by security and had even threatened to shoot one of the officers. Since the gang member’s mother was the homeowner, it was a delicate situation. Rather than immediately choosing the punitive option, Valerie invited him into a meeting to discuss the issue. She gave him a chance to tell his side of the story. Once he had the chance to be heard and felt respected, the two sides were able to shake hands and come up with a solution that reduced future conflicts.
Within one year of Valerie’s involvement, the community was completely changed. The improvement was so remarkable that the city won an award for turning its reputation around. It had gone from a place where the police knew many residents by name to a place where the police were never called.
Fighting may not always be the answer, but doing the right thing is. For Valerie Segars, the right thing isn’t always easy or safe, but that doesn’t make it any less right.