Community Builders Form
Sure, were all tired of hearing that
over-used buzzword, "partnership," to describe our community building
efforts; yet, we all know that the synergy gained from forming strong relationships
with other organizations is essential to fulfilling HUDs mission.
This June, several Community Builders were operating on this principle when
they served as HUD ambassadors at the national conventions of Big
Brothers, Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) (http://www.bbbsa.org) and 100
Black Men of America, Inc. (100 BMOA) (http://www.100blackmen.org).
Illinois Community Builder Michele Perez teamed up with Jack Melitio, Advisor to Deputy Secretary
Saul Ramirez, to host a roundtable discussion with over thirty state and
regional leaders of BBBSA. The roundtable discussion focused on how to make
the connection with HUD and HUD partners.
"I cant tell you how responsive the BBBSA reps were,"
Perez said. "Once we were able to get the dialogue going, that is where
we sparked interest and action. Most questions revolved around who to go
through to make the HUD connection. Afterwards, we had a steady flow of
visitors on the web who couldnt wait to get on the kiosk and web to
determine who is their local Community Builder."
BBBSA currently serves over 100,000 children and youth in more than 500
agencies throughout the United States. According to an impacts study of
the BBBSA mentoring model, children who are mentored for at least eighteen
months are 46% less likely to buy illegal drugs and 53% less likely to skip
"HUD aims to empower families and communities," says Perez.
"Our role as Community Builders is to explain how HUD empowers families
and communitiesthrough programs, through partnerships, and through
building relevant working relationships with others who strive to do the
same. Groups like Big Brothers now have the ability to tap into our resources
and our commitment to communitiesits an exciting thing to be
a part of."
"The description of the intensity of the change at HUD made it clear
that the agency created opportunities for new ideas and partnerships, said
Becky James, President and CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of St. Louis.
"I am genuinely excited about contacting a community builder to explore
Community Builder Fellow Specialist Marvin Turner joined over 5000 mentors,
leaders, spouses, and guests at the 13th annual conference for
100 BMOA. Over 120,000 young people have benefited from 100 BMOA, which
provides mentoring to predominantly inner-city youth through local chapters
throughout the United States.
Turner coordinated federal agency and White House participation for a
conference panel discussion on "Opportunities for Black Owned Businesses
within the Federal Government." Michigan Senior Community Builder Regina
F. Solomon served as the panels keynote speaker. Turner moderated
the national panel and coordinated exhibit space for HUD at the conference.
"It is important that HUD participate at events that convene representatives
from numerous communities from across the nation, particularly those crucial
organizations that help HUD reach its mission," said Turner. "This
type of outreach helps to leverage the resources of other organizations
with HUD to strengthen Americas communities."