Sunday, October 24, 2021

Ben Carson: HUD Opens EnVision Centers to Help Black Americans Build Wealth

*U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced last year that HUD would be launching EnVision Centers to help black folks build wealth.

The centers would encourage and promote what it calls the four key pillars of self-sufficiency: character and leadership, educational advancement, economic empowerment and health and wellness, per housingwire.com.

On July 7, Carson announced the first round of “EnVision Center” designations in 17 communities around the nation. He then took to Twitter to “celebrate the growth that’s going to happen here.”

“The EnVision Center demonstration will drive collaboration across federal agencies, state & local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations and the private sector to offer services that respond to the unique needs of each community,” Carson said.

At the event, homeowner Shernita Jefferson told Carson how Envision Centers helped her buy a new home and gain independence.

“I think the program is a very exciting program,” said Jefferson who was born and raised in public housing.

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Jefferson explained how she emerged from “a dark place” and purchased a home.

“I am a homeowner now. I was a single parent, now I’m a wife. That was on my vision board to become a wife.”

Jefferson said the Envision Centers put her on the road to building wealth.

“It wasn’t a lot of money to save, but a little dollar here and a little 50 cent here, it works because I learned how to make a dollar out of 15 cents.”

Jefferson told Carson,” I really appreciate your vision and what you are trying to do in the community because that’s how we’ll make America great again.”

The EnVision Center demonstration communities announced include:

San Diego
Hartford, Connecticut
Washington, D.C.
Chicago
Kansas City, Kansas
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Detroit
Inkster, Michigan
Kansas City, Missouri
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
Hickory North, Carolina
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Youngstown, Ohio
Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fort Worth, Texas
Spokane, Washington

Carson previously explained his vision for the centers to HousingWire in an exclusive interview with Editor-In-Chief Jacob Gaffney, who wrote:

“One of Carson’s main initiatives is establishing “envision centers” of learning, especially for teenage mothers who, more often than not, end their educational trajectory once they give birth. New York City is seen as a potential spot for one of the first such centers where young, low-income parents can access day care while learning to code and “balance a checkbook or unclog a toilet,” the secretary told me. The project remains far from being piloted, especially considering recent cuts to HUD’s budget.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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