HUD Archives: News Releases
|HUD No. 98-93b |
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Tuesday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||February 24, 1998|
FACT SHEET FOR ST. PETERSBURG TASK FORCE
Following the disturbances in St. Petersburg that began on October 24, 1996, President Clinton established the St. Petersburg Federal Interagency Task Force as an emergency response to the city's problems. In the 16 months since, the Task Force has invested over $46 million in St. Petersburg and also helped to build a unique citywide partnership. The Task Force is made up of: the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
$914,500-Public Housing Funds (HUD). These funds were released in May 1997 to be used for lead abatement and asbestos removal in Jordan Park and Graham Rogall public housing. Most of this work has been performed, and public housing residents were hired to help with the clean-up.
$27,000,000-HOPE VI Grant for Jordan Park (HUD). This grant was announced on October 3, 1997, and will be used to renovate public housing and revitalize the surrounding area. Over the next several years the 446-unit Jordan Park complex will be redesigned into a more open community consisting of 223 larger units. In addition, 177 new units will be developed off-site through new construction and/or acquisition and rehabilitation. 115 of these will be rental units while the remaining 62 will provide homeownership opportunities for the residents.
$12,000,000-Section 108 Economic Development Loan Guarantees (HUD). HUD fast tracked these loan guarantees and made them available to the City of St. Petersburg to be used to increase corporate investment in the inner city. The intent is that corporations will create jobs and spur economic development throughout the community through the use of the loan guarantees.
$250,000-Economic Development and Supportive Services Program (HUD). This grant was awarded in April 1997 to provide technical assistance to Jordan Park residents and to help them open a child care center, job training center, and resident-run laundry room. The laundry room is open and operating, and the new child care center is scheduled to open on May 1, 1998.
In conjunction with the University of South Florida and corporate sponsors, a $100,000 Community Resource Room (One Stop Center) will be opening soon. EDSS will contribute $51,000 to the Resource Room job training centers will begin renovations in the next several months. The manager will be a specially-trained Jordan Park resident.
In association with the Pinellas Workforce Development Board and National and local Boys and Girls Clubs, the EDSS committee has developed a schedule of recreational activities for the youth of Jordan Park, focusing on after school and week-end activities.
$300,000-Youthbuild Plus Grants (Labor). These grants were awarded to Career Options, a community-based organization, and are used to train youths for career path employment and increase the employment rate within the entire community by raising the level of job skills. $300,000 was awarded for FY '97 and an additional $200,000 for FY '98.
$1,100,000-Employment and Training Demonstration Project (Labor). This grant is for the re-employment and retraining of about 200 workers. It will hire coordinators from the community to run the program and include the participation of small minority businesses. The program will be implemented in partnership with St. Petersburg Technical College, the local community college, which will provide the use of its facilities. The funding was signed on August 14, 1997. The program is underway.
$200,000-Youthbuild Plus Grant (Labor). Labor awarded Career Options another year's worth of funding to keep the program going. This funding is for FY '98.
$60,000-Technical Assistance Grant (Labor). This grant to the National Association of Minority Contractors will enable the group to begin exploring the establishment of an pre-apprenticeship program for minority contractors in the St. Petersburg area.
$1,265,250-Healthy Start Grant (HHS). The grant was awarded to the County Health Board to be used to reduce the infant mortality rate and combat teen pregnancy throughout Pinellas County. It was announced October 3, 1997.
$910,500-Disaster Relief Loans (SBA). These loans were used to repair damages to businesses caused during the disturbances. Fourteen different loans were made, including some to the 18th Avenue Market and Ken, Inc.
$199,350-Minority Small Business Prequalification Loans (SBA). These loans to local minority businesses were made in an effort to overcome the problems that minority small businesses have in accessing capital. The loans are intended as seed money to spur economic development by minority firms.
One Stop Capital Shop (SBA). The Small Business Association is opening a One Stop Capital Shop in coordination with the Mayor's Office. Located in South St. Petersburg, the purpose of the shop will be to assist small and minority businesses in all aspects of operations, including access to capital and Section 8 certification. Slated to open by March 1998.
$650,000-Weed and Seed Grants (Justice). Awarded in July 1997, this grant is intended to make the community safer with the implementation of community policing, and to protect children from drugs by better drug intervention and interdiction. Community residents are heavily involved in advising the program through the Weed and Seed Steering Committee. $325,000 was awarded for FY '97 and an additional $325,000 for FY '98.
Religious Education Summit (Education). Secretary Richard Riley hosted a Religious Education Summit on September 19, 1997 at the University of South Florida, which was an effort to improve local involvement in the education of St. Petersburg's youth. It included breakout sessions with educators and church leaders, and was also chaired by Governor Lawton Chiles and USF President Betty Castor. A second Summit will be held later this year.
Surplus Federal Computers (Education). The Education Department gathered 75 surplus computers from the federal government and sent them to St. Petersburg. They were distributed to the most needy local schools and community-based organizations.
Religious Education Retreats (Education). A series of retreats sponsored by the National Conference on Christians and Jews, Tampa Bay area, were held to discuss the three issue areas of the Summit: family involvement, reading, and alternatives to suspension and expulsion. School personnel are training faith community volunteers and placing them in schools with children who most need their assistance in reading.
St. Pete Reads. Created a city-wide reading initiative involving parents, community organizations, and businesses to ensure that all third-grade students in St. Petersburg's inner city can read at or above a third grade level as measured by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. The program was kicked off on August 27, 1997.
Mentor-Protégé Program (Defense). The Defense Department hosted a conference on February 3, 1998 for St. Petersburg's minority small businesses. The program is designed to pair small businesses up with existing defense contractors and increase the skills and capacity of the small businesses. More than 50 small businesses and 40 DOD major prime contractors were represented.
$100,000-Brownfields Inventory Grant (EPA). This grant was used to identify and eliminate potential brownfield sites, which are polluted former industrial locations. Out of 222 sites, 158 received letters clearing them of any contamination. As a result, the path has been cleared for economic redevelopment of the sites, so that new job-creating businesses can be established.
$200,000-Brownfields Assessment Grant (EPA). The remaining 65 brownfield sites (of original 222) are undergoing more extensive scrutiny to determine if they are contaminated. The State of Florida is contributing an additional $500,000 to the effort, which should result in an even smaller pools of sites that will actually require clean-up.
$200,000-Environmental Job Training Grant (EPA). This grant was awarded to St. Petersburg Junior College to give local residents the skills to perform environmental clean-up jobs. The first students will be graduating in late February, 1998.
GENERAL TASK FORCE ACTIVITIES
Citizen's Advisory Commission. The Task Force established a commission to advise and guide the Task Force and enable the local community to have input in the programs that would affect their future. The Commission is comprised of members of members of the Mayor's staff, community activists, religious leaders, business leaders, and residents. It is the primary source of community involvement in the day to day activities of the Task Force and has resulted in stronger ties among its members and has helped to heal the community.
Economic Development Collaborative. The creation of an economic development consortium to include the County economic development commission, Black Chamber of Commerce, SBA, Chamber of Commerce, local banks, community development corporations and over 30 other entities that contribute to the process. The purpose is to create a macro-economic development vision for the targeted community and integrate it into county and regional strategies.
Improved Police/Community Relations. The Task Force arranged a meeting between Jack Soule, president of the local police union, and Omali Yeshitela, National Chairman Chairman of the U.S. African Socialist Party. This resulted in a dissipation of tensions, and the beginning of real dialogue in St. Petersburg.
Black Chamber of Commerce. The Task Force established a partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce to foster the development of business assistance targeted toward increasing the number of new start-up minority businesses and providing technical assistance for the growth of existing businesses.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009