HUD No. 08-056
April 30, 2008
FLORIDA HOMELESS PROGRAM RECEIVES HUD AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Jacksonville's Clara White Mission called a model by HUD and American Planning Association
WASHINGTON – A Jacksonville, Florida homeless program is the recipient of the 2007 HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award for excellence in planning. Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Clara White Mission received this year's award for its aggressive plan to provide permanent housing solutions for chronically homeless individuals and families.
For the past 11 years, HUD and the American Planning Association (APA) have recognized model programs which improve employment, education, housing opportunities, mobility and the standard of living for lower income persons. The HUD Secretary's Award was presented today during APA's National Planning Conference in Las Vegas.
"The Clara White Mission proves that good planning can improve the lives of people," said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. "This program recognizes that good minds, working together, have a real impact on the lives of people who might otherwise be living on our streets."
In presenting the award, HUD Assistant Secretary Darlene Williams added, "It is never easy to decide on one winner, given the high quality of so many nominations. But there could hardly be a more appropriate choice for this year's HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award."
HUD and APA's selection of The Clara White Mission is in recognition of the nonprofit organization's work to create a diverse network of public and private funding sources including the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, the Duvall County Housing Finance Authority and the Florida Department of Children and Families. More specifically, the Mission was recognized for transforming an old soup kitchen into a 36-unit facility that provides affordable housing, job training, child care, and a variety of other personal and family services.
Last January, HUD awarded the Mission a renewal grant of $132,000.
Clara White Mission
The Clara White Mission is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1904 to "preserve both the humanity and heritage of our community through the provision of services, housing and training to the homeless and disadvantaged." The mission is a key local partner in a national effort to ending long-term homelessness for persons living with a chronic condition such as mental illness, addiction or a physical disability. The mission's work in Jacksonville's blighted areas employs an integrated approach by guaranteeing permanent housing, on-site training, substance abuse counseling and mental health services. The mission gives priority to homeless veterans seeking housing and employment assistance.
To date, 139 homeless persons have graduated from the Mission's vocational training programs and more than 100 were placed in jobs within 60 days of graduation. In addition, the program has helped nearly half of its enrollees find permanent housing.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.