The District of Columbia Housing Authority’s EnVision Center/Workforce Development Initiative will be awarded with the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials 2021 Award of Merit in the Resident and Client Services Category and has been nominated for the 2021 NAHRO Award of Excellence. In addition, the Youth Development program and Frederick Douglass Family Self-Sufficiency Center will win a 2021 Award of Merit in the Resident and Client Services Category.
Interim Executive Director Brenda Donald said, “This is the type of quality programing that I’m proud we are providing the residents of the District of Columbia. We are thankful to our partners and appreciate the teamwork that is being recognized with these awards.”
The first award honors DCHA’s partnership with the University of the District of Columbia and other professional organizations which hold various trainings, coursework, and employment opportunities at the Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center, also known as the EnVision Center, to create the Workforce Development Initiative. Courses are available in areas such as hospitality and tourism, direct support professionals, property management, and skills development. Throughout the national state of health emergency, DCHA’s WDI continued holding virtual career fairs and professional development courses for its customers. The center, located within Greenleaf Gardens, serves some 15,000 customers a year.
“We are humbly excited to receive these honors on behalf of the District of Columbia Housing Authority, especially during these challenging times in our country and communities. We are committed to serving and continuing to provide innovative opportunities, programs, and resources to our residents that will give them the opportunity to be empowered,” said DCHA Director of Resident Services Brian K. Harris. “We will continue to serve at a high level as we meet our residents individually were they are and strategically work to move them forward towards self-sufficiency.”
Also honored are DCHA’s Youth Development programs which work with youth to provide academic support, as well as a variety of leadership and other opportunities outside of school. The Do Your BEST program provides students with job opportunities; the DCHA STEM program prepares young leaders to tackle the world of STEM through exploration, education, and skill development; the DCHA Youth Mentorship & Leadership Program helps youth academically, socially, and personally throughout their transition into adult hood; and the DCHA Story Time program, promotes the importance of and the positive impact of reading for children.
The final award will go to DCHA’s one-stop shop for its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, which opened in 2020. The Frederick Douglass Family Self-Sufficiency Center was renovated to house the multitude of services that help DCHA customers reach their individual goals in the DCHA Pathways of Self-Sufficiency: education, employment, and homeownership. The center houses service coordinators who work directly with DCHA customers, as well as D.C. residents, to connect them to innovative strategies, programs, and services that already exist in the local community, such as credit counseling, financial literacy training, and homeownership preparation. Partner organizations also can use the space to host classes and trainings. For more information on the FSS program, click here.
NAHRO will present the awards at their 2021 National Conference and Exhibition, in October in Phoenix, Arizona.