District of Columbia Housing Authority Executive Director Tyrone Garrett announced that four resident entrepreneurs received $2,500 micro-grants to support their businesses at the April 14 monthly Board of Commissioners meeting as the first action in the rollout of the agency’s $250,000 investment into its new Human Capital Plan.
The micro-grant initiative is an integral part of a revised Human Capital Program offered to all DCHA customers as part of the agency’s larger Transformation Plan for its portfolio of properties. The suite of self-sufficiency offerings for residents includes a new needs assessment and a comprehensive data collection survey thanks to a partnership with the Urban Institute. Listening sessions starting this spring will offer interested residents more information and an opportunity to weigh in with ideas for further program enhancements.
“Part of DCHA’s mission is to provide safe, clean, and affordable housing. But it also is providing our customers the support and opportunities to achieve their dreams, self-sufficiency, and to improve their families’ quality of life,” Garrett said. “Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out our Human Capital Plan, a part of the agency’s Transformation Plan, which will impact our residents through community building, family development, wellness, economic solvency, and educational advancement. This is a needed social investment while the agency continues to make capital improvements.”
The Human Capital Program will continue to work with current service providers and will develop new partnerships to enhance service offerings. Enhanced offerings will now include small business development and community building through social activism and stakeholder engagement, early childhood development, financial literacy, and academic and professional workshops, among other initiatives.
The first properties where the Human Capital Program will roll out are the greater Greenleaf Gardens community, Potomac Gardens, Judiciary House, Park Morton, Richardson Dwellings, and Lincoln Heights.
“The Sustainable Communities Project® is excited to continue our partnership with DCHA to implement impactful entrepreneurship, wellness, job creation, and STEAM education programs,” said R. Denise Everson, director of Thinkboxx’s Sustainable Communities Project (SCP). “As the director of the SCP, I look forward to coaching, mentoring, and facilitating the funding of these DCHA entrepreneurs and the ones which will follow. We plan to leverage DCHA’s support for these ventures through our extensive network of supporters including The George Washington University and The Global Good Fund.”
The four micro-grant recipients will sign contracts to use the funding to invest and grow their businesses and receive business coaching from SCP. The recipients are Shonta High, owner of High Alert Emergency Preparedness in Ward 1; Shannon Morning, owner of Morning Cleaning, LLC in Ward 1; Crystal Nelson, owner of Sweet Tooth Edibles in Ward 5; and Vanessa Gooch, owner of Nessa Fabulous in Ward 5.