Hudson was able to speak frankly with Secretary Carson about some of the HUD programs that are working, and others that are not as successful during the session that took place late in September during a conference that Hudson and others on her staff attended in Washington D.C.
"Secretary Carson was very patient and attentive during our meeting," Hudson said. "I had an opportunity to discuss public housing and Housing Choice Voucher rules and regulations."
Hudson also said she was able to talk with Carson about some of the programs the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority is excited about in its efforts to eliminate the cycle of poverty such as the Family Self Sufficiency program, ConnectHome USA, Project SOAR and new Envision Centers.
"I am very pleased with Secretary Carson's vision for public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers," Hudson said.
Housing authority board Chairwoman Lee Hight said she knew Hudson would represent the Housing Authority admirably during the visit.
"She really did her homework about going prepared," Hight said. "She really opened up about programs that mean so much to our residents, things like Project SOAR. It really made a difference in their conversation. I think she represented Rome and Floyd County very well."
Project SOAR is a program designed to help prepare students in public housing to be able to go on to complete their high school education and move on to college or vocational school. The ConnectHome USA program is relatively new, but also designed to help get public housing residents connected to the Internet where adults can take advantage of job search opportunities and students can research and write papers that are part of their scholastic requirements.
Envision Centers are a new strategy under Carson's leadership, based on the assumption that financial support alone is not enough to break the cycle of poverty. The program is being developed to foster long-term self-sufficiency. EnVision Centers will provide communities with a centralized hub for support directed toward economic empowerment, education advancement, health and wellness along with character development and leadership skills.
Hudson said Carson told her from what he had heard during their discussions, Rome had everything in place to start an EnVision Center locally. Hudson said she still needs to cultivate community partners but hopes to have the program running by spring of 2019 and when it opens, said she hopes Carson will make a personal visit.