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Get to Know: Breanna Benjamin

October 2020

Job title: HOF Program Coordinator

What you actually do: I ensure that our Pittsburgh City residents who are renters, homeowners, and first time home buyers receive financial assistance to continue having a safe and healthy living environment.

Years at URA: At the time of writing of this, I have been here for 1 year and 2 weeks lol. If you really want to get to the details, I don’t mind calculating the days, hours, minutes, and seconds for you lol.

Best thing about working at the URA: My colleagues, in addition to advancing housing rights for residents

Favorite project/Most satisfying moment in career: Seeing us close our 100th Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance household

Education: Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University; University of Pittsburgh

Where you were before the URA: Allegheny County Department of Human Services

If you were boss for the day: Oh wow….The first thing I would do is normalize feelings and emphasize that it’s okay to not be okay. I can probably write a book and dissertation about this topic, but I will spare you all. It’s just the Social Worker in me that wants people to be the best version of themselves because we can’t pour from an empty cup.

The Boss says: "As anyone who has met Breanna can testify, she brings such a positive light to (what was) the office and throughout all of our work. Breanna brings positivity, energy, support and thoughtfulness to the URA and the work we do in the Housing Opportunity Fund. She is reliable, funny, very detailed-oriented and a quick learner.

In the course of the last year, Breanna has helped tremendously with managing our Housing Stabilization Program and the Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance Program — both of which have seen significant upticks since COVID-19. Through it all, Breanna has demonstrated herself as someone who you can count on to get things done, provide a thoughtful lens to sensitive issues, and step up to support her teammates, all while doing it with a big smile." - Jeremy Carter, HOF program manager

If you weren't at the URA you'd be...Safely assuming this is asked in a perfect world where I am rich, I would be traveling the world.

First job: Cashier at a grocery store

Favorite Pittsburgh spot: Hhhmm...That’s a tough one. I would have to say Frick Park trails and the Waterfront walking trail.

Favorite restaurant: Prior to COVID, it was Social in East Liberty. Now….I have to say Cheesecake Factory—according to my order history on Door Dash lol.

What you like to do when not at work: When I’m not at work, I enjoy playing and relaxing with my Cooper. I also enjoy catching up with family and friends, reading, and binging Netflix.

Secret vice: I sometimes make corny jokes where no one laughs except me, then I have to point it out so they’ll laugh to make me feel better lol.

What three words describe you best: Pragmatic, ambitious, and resourceful

What you’re currently watching on Netflix: I’m always looking to build my watch list, so let me know if you have any suggestions. Currently, I’m watching Sister Sister.

What song do you have on infinite repeat?: I can’t just choose one song, but if I had to, I would say Oceane by Rini and Olivia Escuyos.

Three favorite foods: My absolute favorite food is pizza. Following pizza are quesadillas and French fries.

Three people (living or dead) you’d like to have dinner with: Angela Bassett, Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama

Actress who would play you in a movie: Raven Goodwin

People would be surprised to know that I...was a cheerleader in middle school and played in the band. Woodwinds are the best!

Family: I am the only child from my mom and have a little brother on my dad’s side.

Pets: I have a wonderful and handsome one year old Bichpoo named Cooper.

Contact Info: bbenjamin@ura.org; 412-255-6561

Younger Breanna

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