Cynthia Hairston, Outstanding Tenant of the Year

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Cynthia Hairston, Outstanding Tenant of the Year image


Named ‘the mayor’ by fellow tenants and staff at Lantern Community Services’ Clover Hall, Cynthia Hairston is known for her care, support and passion for her fellow-tenants and community.

“When I think about Cynthia, what comes to mind is her kindness. She has been my backbone,” said Cynthia’s sister, Partricia Pennix.

Misuse of substances at a young age, incarceration and health complications led Cynthia on a journey to recovery prior to moving into Clover Hall in 2008. Despite a rocky start and a relapse, Cynthia made a commitment to stop using and sought out help from staff. 

Now, 14 years later, Cynthia has maintained her recovery and become an integral member of her community. She works hard to support her peers that are still using, utilizing a non-judgmental harm reduction approach. She has said that helping others, especially during hard times, provides her with a sense of true purpose and fulfillment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cynthia found a new way to support her community. Starting in 2021, Cynthia became Clover Hall’s Vaccine Ambassador by which she helps her peers to make the best choices to stay safe and healthy. She also became a member of the On-Point Advisory Board which looks at how to best support tenants and their wellness. As Vaccine Ambassador, Cynthia has helped move Clover Hall’s vaccination rate from approximately 40% to nearly 90% in less than a year. She was able to accomplish this through her deep connections with her peers and having consistent and patient conversations that include supportive education, and the space to explore options for how each person can choose to stay safe.

Cultivating relationships with fellow tenants and serving as their support system is a quality of Cynthia’s that many at Clover Hall admire. “She was proactive with everybody, knocking on everybody's door, every tenant. She makes sure everybody signs up for vaccines and booster shots,” said fellow tenant Lamar Wooden.

“What strikes me most in working with Cynthia is her genuineness, her open-mindedness, and her willingness to advocate for herself and for others with deep integrity.” Said Director of Behavioral Health at Clover Hall, Irene Walcott.

Says Cynthia: “I'm a very motivated person. When I came here, I got involved in all the projects that they have.” She says she wants to live at Clover Hall for the rest of her life.

For her compassion, advocacy and continued growth we are delighted to honor Cynthia as one of our Tenants of the Year.

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