ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s (SPHA) Adopt-A-Family program made this holiday season a little merrier for one St. Petersburg family living in public housing. The housing authority provided wrapped Christmas gifts on Friday, December 21, to single mother Tanisha Lovett and her two daughters, ages two and six. Ms. Lovett’s third child is due in February 2013. The presents were purchased solely with personal donations from SPHA staff.
In order to qualify for selection for this year’s “Adopt-A-Family” program, families had to be SPHA public housing residents in good standing who have utilized the Section 3 Resident Training Fund. With SPHA’s assistance, Ms. Lovett successfully completed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training and is currently employed.
“I’m very excited and thankful for SPHA,” Ms. Lovett said. “In the past year, I’ve accomplished a lot with SPHA’s help: I went to school and got my CNA license, I got a job, and now I’ve been blessed with Christmas gifts for my girls.”
The Resident Training Fund, which was created by the federally mandated Section 3 program and is maintained by contractor contributions, is an example of a successful private/public partnership. The fund helps public housing residents pay for necessary job training courses or classes to qualify them for gainful employment. SPHA’s goal for its training program is to ensure that residents have the knowledge and skills that they need to succeed in the work place and to move beyond reliance on government subsidies.
Melinda Perry, SPHA’s Chief of Programs, said, “We are proud of Ms. Lovett’s drive to achieve more for herself and her family, and we are happy to help them celebrate the holidays. Ms. Lovett is a great example of how the Section 3 Resident Training Fund can make a real difference in the lives of our public housing residents, leading to secure jobs and financial independence.”
Section 3 is a provision of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, neighborhood economic improvement, and individual self-sufficiency. To be Section 3 compliant, SPHA’s contractors may choose to employ residents, subcontract with resident-owned or certified Section 3 businesses, or contribute to SPHA’s Resident Training Fund. More information on Section 3 and SPHA’s Resident Training Fund can be found online at www.stpeteha.org.
About St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA):
Founded in 1937, SPHA is one of the oldest housing authorities in the nation and is continually rated by HUD as a “High Performing” agency. In 2012, the agency celebrates 75 years of service to the local community. SPHA provides housing assistance to qualifying low-income families within its service area, which includes the City of St. Petersburg and extends in a 10-mile radius outside of city limits. SPHA has received national awards and recognition for its innovative programs, including the Economies of Scale program, the Jordan Park HOPE VI redevelopment program, the Section 3 program, and the Fraud Recovery program. More information about SPHA’s programs and services can be found at www.stpeteha.org.