HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Two new centers called ‘Envision Center’ are being opened up in Newport News and Norfolk by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help low-income residents increase their income and gain self-sufficiency.
A special announcement event was held Monday at the Calvert Square Family Investment Center, which was attended by many local leaders, including Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander and Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick.
According to the City of Norfolk, the goal will be to help those on HUD assistance get off of it, so the financial resources can be used to help others awaiting assistance.
The Norfolk center will be located at the Calvert Square Family Investment Center at 975 Bagnall Road and the Newport News center will be at the Lift & Connect Resource Center at 618 18th Street. Both centers are located with-in already established buildings that run programs to help low-income families and people.
“This EnVision Center will serve as a platform to those in the St. Paul’s Area to collaborate with community supportive service providers, other businesses, foundations, nonprofit organizations, educational leaders, job training and workforce development organizations, and will also provide online resources,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, City of Norfolk. “We are grateful that HUD continues to recognize our commitment to transforming the lives of those who are working to escape poverty and creating better lives for themselves and better futures for their families.”
Located on or near public housing developments, EnVision Centers provide communities with a centralized hub to access support in the following four pillars: Economic Empowerment, Educational Advancement, Health and Wellness, and Character and Leadership, according to HUD.
These Envision Centers are an idea started under President Donald Trump’s administration and were first announced by HUD Secretary Ben Carson on June 7, 2018. Carson at the time identified 17 communities across the nation that HUD would focus on putting an Envision Center in.
While neither Newport News or Norfolk were among those first 17 communities that were given EnVision Centers, it looks that HUD has continued to establish its program in other areas of the country.
“We will not measure success by the number of people who enter these new EnVision Centers,” stated Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator for HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region, who was also on-hand for the announcement event. “Success will be measured by the number of individuals who achieve greater self-sufficiency—who no longer require assistance from our programs—who gain the financial independence to be able to rent, or even buy, their own homes.”
HUD’s Mid-Atlantic Region consists of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia.
For more information on the HUD program, click here.