The City of Williamson Housing Authority has been recognized as an EnVision Center by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
During a reception hosted by the Williamson Housing Authority on Monday, October 5th, Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the designation.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson developed the Envision Center program in 2018. Williamson is the first Envision Center in West Virginia. According to www.HUD.gov, the mission of Envision Centers are to be centralized hubs that provide people with the resources and support needed to excel. The four pillars offered to the communities through the hub are economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness, and character and leadership. While discussing the purpose of the EnVision centers, self-sufficiency for all housing development residents was noted to be one of the main goals to be reached through the center.
DeFelice explained,” These envision centers are extremely important. They are really the brainchild of Housing Secretary Ben Carson. He thought while it’s nice to build buildings, we really need to begin investing in our people.”
DeFelice said this being his third trip to Williamson, he has found wholesome, hard-working people that want to better their lives.
Representatives from Congresswoman Carol Miller, Senator Shelley Moore-Capito, and Senator Joe Manchin’s offices, as well as Williamson Mayor Charles Hatfield also offered remarks and congratulations during the presentation.
Speaking on behalf of the City of Williamson Housing Authority was Executive Director Pauline Sturgill, Jackie Branch, Chair, Board of Commissioners, and David Childress, Public Housing Supervisor and resident.
As a resident, and now maintenance supervisor with the housing authority, Mr. Childress said with the assistance of Executive Director Sturgill, he is also now the owner of Mamaw Betty’s Pizza.
“I want to thank Pauline for giving me the opportunity to do what she has let me do. I’ve lived in the projects for twenty years, and I’m getting ready to move out in a couple of months. I’m a maintenance supervisor, she’s (Pauline) given me the chance to open up my own business, and I’ve been able to adopt my two oldest granddaughters. I really thank Pauline and the housing authority and everybody for your support,” said David
In closing, Sturgill said of the WHA staff, “The crew we have now is a phenomenal group. If you don’t have a service orientation about you, if you don’t come with a mind of service, you won’t succeed here because we’re all about serving our families and serving our communities and doing what Williamson Housing Authority can do to provide more than just safe, decent, affordable housing, but an opportunity where people can succeed.”
Sturgill noted how important the various partnerships the WHA has formed throughout the community with various groups and agencies.
“This is a great opportunity and we will take it and run with it,” said Sturgill
While this designation does not provide more immediate federal funding it does open the door for more funding opportunities for WHA.
Congratulations to the City of Williamson Housing Authority on receiving this recognition!
Click here read more about HUD Envision Centers.