HUD names CAA of OKC an EnVision Center

Today, at an event in Oklahoma City, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officially designated the Community Action Agency of OKC (CAA) as an Envision Center. 

This designation serves as a critical component of HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s EnVision Center initiative by connecting HUD-assisted and low-income families with the tools that lead to self-sufficiency.

“EnVision Centers are a way to connect local resources with the people who need them the most. From social service resources to job training classes, vital services will be provided that will have an unimaginable impact on the lives of the people being helped,” said HUD Regional Administrator Michael Burley, who spoke at the designation event.  “I look forward to seeing the brighter futures the CAA EC will bring to the Oklahoma City community.”

 CAA Executive Director Jessie Thompson said, “CAA’s motto of “Helping People, Changing Lives” is alive and well in our new EnVision Center.  We are an organization founded on hope and helping others help themselves.  I am excited to be able to offer our services in a new way to help our community.”

EnVision Centers are centralized hubs that support the four key pillars of self-sufficiency:  Economic Empowerment, Educational Advancement, Health and Wellness, Character, and Leadership.  The CAA EnVision Center is the second EnVision Center in Oklahoma and one of more than 60 nationally.

Founded in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City has worked for nearly 55 years to help community members reach self-sufficiency.  Among its many program are Head Start; financial literacy courses; small business courses and loans; down payment and closing cost assistance; substance abuse treatment; and emergency home repair.  

CAA is working with many federal, state, and local partners in the EnVision Center, including the City of Oklahoma City; the City of Midwest City; the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency; Head Start, United Way of Central Oklahoma and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.

Classes and services that will be offered at the CAA EnVision Center include:

  • Job readiness and referrals
    • Financial empowerment and counseling assistance
    • GED and ESL Classes
    • Small business and entrepreneurial training and coaching.
    • Affordable Housing
    • Community Garden

The EnVision Center will initially focus on its Head Start operations, especially those in proximity to residents of public housing. The objective is to use Head Start to connect family members with other supportive services and create more holistic paths to self-sufficiency.

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