Creating Homes People Can Be Proud Of
One of the first things Brittany Trickle noticed when she was doing a walk-through as part of her interview to become property manager at Mosaic in Axtell was a garden bed outside of one of the homes. “Why,” she thought, “would you have a garden bed on the ground when most of the people who live in the home use wheelchairs?”
She noted to the interviewers that, if she were in charge, she’d tear it out and put in a raised garden bed instead. She’d also split it in two and put a sidewalk down the center. Then the garden beds would be accessible to everyone, and with the sidewalk, there would not be any areas that someone in a wheelchair could not reach.
Shortly after she came on board, she did just that. It’s just one of many facilities improvements she has made in her almost 18 months on the job. Her guidepost, she said, is always thinking about what’s best for the people who call Mosaic in Axtell home.
“In everything I do here each day, I’m always thinking how is it going to improve their lives? How is it going to make it easier for them?” she said.
That line of thinking led to a full remodel of one of the campus homes, the first of six to be completed. The changes were dramatic—everything from new lights and new flooring to redone bathrooms, new paint and needed repairs that hadn’t been addressed.
“They should be happy with where they live,” she said. “That’s my main goal.” She noted the redone home now feels light and airy.
With the other three people on her maintenance team, she always asks, “When you’re in your house, would you do it like that there? You have to think about it like your house. You have to do things like you would want done in your house.”
When she came on board, Trickle said, she recognized that having a woman in that role was something new. “I was nervous because I am a woman, and sometimes people will think that women can’t do maintenance or construction or landscape,” she said. But working side-by-side with her team and learning new things from them, she overcame any doubts.
“I do a lot of things most women wouldn’t, and I love it,” she said. “I’ve also remodeled my own homes, so I’m pretty handy.”
Trickle said as long as she remembers, she has always wanted to learn how things worked. She’d tear things apart, just to figure it out. And if she didn’t get it right putting it back together the first time, she did it again, as often as needed, until she got it right.
It was Trickle’s long-term partner (and fiancée), Elizabeth Russell, who recommended she apply for the job when it came open. Russell had already worked on the Mosaic campus for nearly a year. Trickle never had a job like it before, but had construction, landscaping, home remodeling and engine mechanic experience most of her life.
“I tinkered around with my grandpa a lot when I was little,” she said, and it was the first ride on his motorcycle that planted the “need for speed” in her. It also developed her love for cars—Trickle has three, a Jetta that takes her the 40-mile each way to and from her home in Alma, a 1992 Corvette and a 1982 Chevy K-10 pickup she’s rebuilt the engine on and is now restoring.
She recently earned a bachelor’s in operations management and has been accepted into a master’s program in leadership. She hopes to make a long-term future at Mosaic.
But in the short-term, she has more plans for what she’d like to do on the campus. There are plans to tear down an older building that can no longer be used. The team has nearly completed a second home remodeling and is planning for the rest. Plus, in her dreams, there’s a new greenhouse that can use a structure that’s already in place.
“I want the individuals here and their guardians to see they’re living in an area they can be proud of,” she said.