|HUD No. 00-186|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Thursday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||July 27, 2000|
HUD LAUNCHES LOCAL HISPANIC COMMUNITY RESOURCE
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today that HUD unveiled its first resource center in a Hispanic community in Washington, D.C. The new center will breakdown societal barriers by providing public housing and low-income residents in this community training and access to computer networks for information on wellness, jobs and education.
The resource center, located at the Latin American Youth Center in northwest Washington, is the newest of HUDís Neighborhood Networks, a national web of high-tech resources at which public and private organizations, neighborhood groups and housing developments collaborate to aid residents. There are more than 800 Neighborhood Networks nationwide and four in Washington, D.C.
"At a White House Hispanic Education Summit in June, the President committed several executive branch agencies to joining forces to improve the quality of life for Hispanics in public housing," Cuomo said. "HUD has partnered with Internet companies to provide the technology needed to make the Neighborhood Networks a valuable community resource."
HUD Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez opened the new facility at a community forum on early childhood development. The event was opened to the public and included free screening for lead poisoning, cholesterol and tuberculosis. In addition, there were onsite immunizations, nutritional counseling, cognitive testing for children, and opportunities for parents to enroll their children in Head Start and other child care programs.
"This forum and the designation of this Neighborhood Network in this community reflects a shared commitment to provide Latino children with quality early childhood education programs and services," said Ramirez.
The forum is a result of a partnership between HUD, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This forum is the first of six to be held in HUD Neighborhood Networks across the country. Federal officials addressed how federal agencies, community-based organizations, and schools can work together to provide Latino parents information about early childhood development and the many available programs and services.
Joining Ramirez at this forum was Patricia Montoya, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth & Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Sarita Brown, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans; and Ivan C.A. Walks, MD, Chief Health Officer and Director, DC Department of Health. The screenings and other services were provided by the D.C. Department of Health and the D.C. Office of Early Childhood Development.
Montoya said, "We're very excited to be joining forces with other local and federal agencies to assist Hispanic parents in developing their children's full potential."
Brown said, "Addressing the needs of young Latino children is crucial to their success. I am proud to participate in an interagency effort that brings federal resources to meet the needs of this vital community."
Walks said, "The vitality of our city depends on its diversity. We are committed to providing effective and culturally relevant healthcare initiatives to all District residents. Our participation in this important event is an example of our commitment to invest in health and improve the quality of life."
The Latin American Youth Center is located at 1419 Columbia Road, NW