Training was an essential component of this program. Before they could help the residents, it was imperative that managers and residential leaders be knowledgeable about welfare reform law, welfare to work resources, HUD self-sufficiency program funding, public housing reform, and childrens health insurance. One thousand managers and residential leaders were trained in these areas before training was extended to the welfare families. Using communication technology, the HUD program pushed electronic education and training where welfare families live, doubling the number of Neighborhood Networks computer learning centers in public housing. These centers dispersed 300 recycled computers, and brought in child care training to 50 multifamily and public housing residents.
"It is important for those living in HUD-assisted housing to be connected with services and activities that can make them self-sufficient," said Mike Levine of HUD. "To accomplish this task, we challenged all the potential partners such as housing authorities, local governments, welfare agencies and advocacy organizations to accomplish one common goal get people out of poverty."
Levine is the first to admit that this was no easy task. "Bringing the Partnership to fruition was an incredible challenge," he said. However, through hard work, the program was able to overcome the obstacles and achieve success. The successes of this HUD program are numerous. For example, a 12-week childcare training program resulted in 37 women successfully moving on to paid internships and jobs. Another example is the creation of a public housing computer center in Montgomery County, as well as several other computer centers projected to open during the course of the year.
"Our Best Practice is unique because we are trying to go about this program in a systematic way by using our position at HUD to address the HUD program and the Welfare-to-Work Program in Pennsylvania. We are empowering individuals by helping themselves to become self-sufficient and rise out of poverty," said Levine.
Content Archived: April 20, 2011