DETROIT, December 9, 2017: Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, quietly announces the launch of the Envision Center Initiative.
News from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is usually not very sexy. However, not many HUD Secretaries are like Dr. Ben Carson. A neurosurgeon and Yale graduate Dr. Carson has been an ardent conservative with a lifelong community-minded philosophy as the backbone of his leadership.
HUD announces the EnVision Centers
Located on or near public housing developments, EnVision Centers will be centralized hubs that serve as an incubator for the four key pillars of self- sufficiency; character and leadership, educational advancement, economic empowerment, and health and wellness. Through results-driven partnerships with federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, corporations, public housing authorities, and housing finance agencies, EnVision Centers will leverage public-private resources for maximum community impact.
“While funding for HUD has increased over the last twenty years, the number of households served has remained the same. We need to think differently about how we can empower Americans to climb the ladder of success,” Secretary Carson said. “EnVision Centers are designed to help people take the first few steps towards self-sufficiency. Every household we are able to help graduate from HUD-assistance allows HUD to help one more family in need.”
Within his first year, Carson was able to transform the department’s vision of creating sustainable living environments and providing educational opportunities for its residents. He calls the new pilot program EnVision centers.
The first pilot program was launched in Detroit Michigan, Carson’s hometown. Centers will be soon open in 10 other cities across the nation. The goal of these centers is to empower all Americans to be self-sufficiency, a part of Carson’s lifelong philosophy on community leadership.
The centers offer public-private partnerships to foster collaboration leading to greater self-sufficiency.
HUD is not just focusing on housing but complete social development.
That includes goals like increasing college enrollment and civic engagement. No longer are the needs of a community separated because of bureaucracy. These one-stop shops offer all the necessary tools an individual could want the government to offer from the state, local and federal level.
The centers even offer a mobile app to track individual progress.
Pillars of the EnVision program
- Goal: Increase the number of students and adults who go from unemployed to employed.
- Goal: Increase the number of people who start revenue generating businesses.
- Goal: Increase the number of enrollees in to HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency program.
- Goal: Launch and increase number of residents in the Section 3 Database.
- Goal: Increase enrollment in two and four-year colleges.
- Goal: Increase the number of adults who earn GED.
- Goal: Increase the number of 3rd grade students who read at grade-level.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- Goal: Increase the number of pre-natal wellness visits to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).
- Goal: Increase the number of annual physicals at FQHC (adults).
- Goal: Increase vision and hearing screening among pre-school aged kids.
CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP
- Goal: Increase civic engagement.
- Goal: Increase the number of adults and youth participating in a mentoring program.
- Goal: Increase the number of two-parent households.
The Trump administration has prioritized urban renewal and Dr. Carson is spearheading the process. Carson has the drive the department has previously lacked under previous administrations necessary to bring fundamental change to our urban communities.
The environment is so important to not only formulating greatness, but also for creating an appreciation for those that aim to succeed.
The critical infrastructure development that urban communities need is a major force for economic development. They are close to the labor force and working together fosters the kinds of outcomes that help stabilize urban areas and ward off economic decay.
The problems being solved are real.
According to the recent statistics 553,742 people were homeless representing an overall .7 percent increase from 2016 and a 13.1 percent decrease since 2010.
Instead of just getting jiggy with it. Through EnVision centers, urban youth can plot a course for their destiny and help improve their community. When Trump announced his plan to make America great again he was telling the truth. These centers are part of that proof.
Urban Youth and the EnVision Program
It targets the younger generation of Americans directly. In it, we can see the seeds of change being planted. Customarily their interaction with the Department would have been through their parents. The understanding of what an importance they are to society is being carved out in this instrumental policy action.
The decision makers and leaders of tomorrow are all around us. Targeting their mindset and providing them the tools, or pillars, of opportunity is the quintessential means of getting them in the right position to ascend to leadership positions.
As these centers become a mainstay of the HUD department, expect to see more urban leaders from economically challenged urban environments paying attention. If you are looking in bringing a pilot program to your community contact Dr. Carson through HUD. To find out more about EnVision Centers please visit HUD.gov/EnVisionCenters.