HUD Archives: News Releases

Reg. VI: 20-116
Patricia Campbell/Scott Hudman/Ty Petty
(817) 978-5974/(713) 718-2107/(817) 978-5976
Follow Reg VI on Twitter: @HUDSouthwest
For Release
July 28, 2020


LITTLE ROCK - Today at an event in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officially designated the Riverview HOPE Campus Center as an EnVision Center. Through results-driven partnerships with organizations such as: federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, corporations, public housing authorities, and even health organizations, EnVision Centers leverage public-private partnerships to connect HUD-assisted households and individuals with services that offer pathways to self-sufficiency.

This designation serves as a critical component of HUD Secretary Ben Carson's EnVision Center initiative to offer a more holistic housing approach by connecting HUD-assisted families with the tools that can lead to self-sufficiency. The Riverview HOPE Campus is the first EnVision Center in the state of Arkansas.

"EnVision Centers are a way to connect local resources with the people who need them the most. From job training classes to basic education to medical needs, vital services will be provided that will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of the people being helped," said HUD Region VI Regional Administrator Michael Burley, who spoke at the event. "I look forward to seeing the brighter futures the EC will bring to the Fort Smith community."

Said Chris Joannides, Executive Director of the HOPE Campus, "Balance is something you create, not find. HOPE Campus is honored to carry the EnVision Center insignia to better the lives of the Fort Smith community."

EnVision Centers are centralized hubs that serve as an incubator to support four key pillars of self-sufficiency - (1) Economic Empowerment, (2) Educational Advancement, (3) Health and Wellness, and (4) Character and Leadership.

The HOPE Campus itself is located in Historic Fort Smith, Arkansas and is the largest emergency shelter in the area that provides a safe and secure shelter for the area's homeless population. The purpose of Hope Campus is to better the lives of the impoverished residents of Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott and Polk counties in the River Valley and to strengthen the community by offering comprehensive services that help individuals be self-sufficient. By using a campus-model approach, Hope Campus decreases the likelihood that individuals will fall through the cracks of social services and increases the likelihood that they reach self-sufficiency.

HOPE Campus has just implemented a mental health department as well. The on-site facility is equipped with a therapist, site coordinator, and program director, who will work with the homeless population on mental health needs. The department is intended to address addiction, trauma, life skills, and activities for daily living.

Additionally, for their EnVision Center, the Riverview HOPE Campus has partnered with several other agencies to provide comprehensive assistance. Some of those partners are:

  • The Fort Smith Housing Authority is located on site to work with residents/non-residents about HUD housing options.
  • Mercy Clinic is also onsite to see residents/non-residents about their medical needs.
  • Mercy Clinic also provides a Community Outreach Worker on site to work with residents on obtaining Medicaid enrollment and help with prescription assistance.
  • Veterans Outreach has been provided an office on site to work with Veterans about housing needs and benefits they are entitled to.
  • St. Anne's Society is located onsite to work with the community on past due notices/shut off notices. They have funding to help participants get caught up on utility bills.
  • Salvation Army also is on site once a week to hand out clothing vouchers.
  • Fort Smith Adult ED works with residents on GED and educational opportunities.
  • Legal Aid of Arkansas is also provided space monthly to help residents with any outstanding legal concerns.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and>

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Content Archived: January 26, 2022