Federal grant expands SHA’s resident services
A successful family-based early literacy program will expand to Duggan Park Apartments this year, thanks to a $482,094 federal grant.
The three-year U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) grant will enable the Springfield Housing Authority to bring the Talk/Read/Succeed! program to Duggan, a family development with 196 units in the Indian Orchard section of the city.
The ROSS grant will also provide staffing for additional Resident Services programming at Riverview Apartments, which includes 302 units for elderly and handicap residents, and another 42 family units in the Brightwood neighborhood.
SHA Executive Director William H. Abrashkin said the ROSS grant is welcome news, providing needed funding for two positions, as well as funds for training.
“The ROSS grant is of great importance to the SHA and its residents, and we are very appreciative to HUD for this funding,” Abrashkin said.
“It allows us to maintain our Resident Services operations while reducing the burden on our limited operating budgets, and also to place one of our experienced Resident Services staff members at the Duggan Park development, to act as an outreach coordinator for the Talk/Read/Succeed! program there,” he said. “This grant is a great opportunity of which we intend to take full advantage.”
HUD awards ROSS grants each year to housing authorities around the country, to assist and support tenants in federally subsidized housing. Besides resident services programs, they include ROSS-Family & Homeownership and ROSS-Elderly/Persons with Disabilities.
T/R/S!, which infuses literacy with programming geared at children as well as parents, is in its seventh year at SHA’s Sullivan and Robinson Gardens Apartments. T/R/S! has proven successful in its quest to boost both academic performance and financial independence.
Abrashkin said he is especially pleased that SHA can fulfill a long-standing plan to bring T/R/S! to another development. The program is a collaboration of several city agencies and organizations. It includes partnerships with neighborhood feeder schools – Boland Elementary School with Sullivan, and Dorman Elementary School with Robinson Gardens. The Duggan partnership will be with the nearby Indian Orchard Elementary School.
“It’s very good news,” Contois said. “This funding will bring new services to residents at two of our developments.”
Wells said, “At Riverview, this will mean services needed so that our elderly residents can remain independent and stay in place at home.”
The grant is already in effect, with staff already appointed and training underway.
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