First Envision Center designated in West Virginia

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice announced today the designation of the Williamson Family Resource Center as the state’s first EnVision Center.

Joining him for the announcement were City of Williamson Mayor Charles Hatfield, Housing Authority of the City of Williamson Executive Director Pauline Sturgill and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and U.S. Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV-3rd District).

EnVision Centers offer HUD-assisted families access to support services that can help them achieve self-sufficiency, thereby making scarce federal resources more readily available to a greater number of households currently waiting to receive HUD assistance.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson launched the HUD EnVision Center Demonstration in June 2018, as one of his signature initiatives. Located on or near public housing developments, EnVision Centers are centralized hubs that support four key pillars of self-sufficiency: (1) Economic Empowerment, (2) Educational Advancement, (3) Health and Wellness, and (4) Character and Leadership.

The Williamson Family Resource Center is the eighth site designation in the Mid-Atlantic region. The seven other sites are located in Philadelphia, Pa., Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Del., and Newport News, Norfolk, Roanoke and Bristol, Va. Nationwide, there are 60 centers.

“While the work we do at HUD to provide public housing is absolutely critical, one of our key priorities is to help the individuals and families we serve become economically independent and self-sufficient,” said DeFelice. “Secretary Carson has long said that our measure of success is not how many people we can get into our programs, but how many people we can graduate out of them.”

“On behalf of the citizens of the City of Williamson, I am so very pleased that our community has been selected and designated as an Envision Center demonstration site,” said Hatfield.  “The honor is ours to participate in Secretary Carson’s vision for real empowerment to our community. The resources of our municipality and all our community stakeholders will be collaboratively engaged to make this effort a success. This recognition and achievement are the result of the hard work and dedication of Executive Director Pauline Sturgill, her board at the Housing Authority of the City of Williamson, and the wonderful employees and staff that unselfishly strive to bring only the best to the residents they serve.”

“The Williamson Housing Authority is deeply honored to be recognized by HUD as an EnVision Center,” said Sturgill. “Four years ago, the Authority’s board of commissioners gave me permission to seek out community partners who shared the same commitment and vision as the Authority—a vision of creating a safe environment that provides unique opportunities for family services that are consistent and holistic, thus empowering families to become successful. The Williamson Family Resource Center’s achievements are a reflection of that initial collaborative effort, and we look forward to building on the Authority’s existing programs to help low-income families across Mingo County and the region achieve self-sufficiency.”

“The Williamson Housing Authority has assisted West Virginians for more than eight decades, providing safe and affordable housing for those in need,” said Senator Manchin. “I applaud Pauline Sturgill for her tireless efforts to designate the Williamson Housing Authority as an EnVision Center, which will be the first designation in West Virginia. This will support their current mission to help West Virginians get back on their feet. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this center on the community members in the years to come.”

“I am glad to see this new EnVision Center designation today in Williamson,” said Congresswoman Miller. “This center will provide West Virginians with the tools and resources they need to build a strong family and a successful career. Investing in our communities now will build the foundations for a strong workforce in the future. Thank you, Secretary Carson, for your commitment to supporting our region.”

Tyler Barker
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