DR. BEN CARSON
SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
ENVISION CENTER PRESS CONFERENCE, TALKING POINTS
DETROIT, MICHIGAN

Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 9:00 A.M. ET

As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

  • Thank you all for coming this morning to our press conference. Its always a pleasure to be back home and see the good work that is being done to revitalize the city.
     
  • I’m delighted to be joined today by Mayor Mike Duggan, who continues to work beyond party lines to restore Detroit's neighborhoods. Thank you, Mike. I want to also thank Coach Lou Holtz and Jerome “The Bus” Bettis – a Detroit native – for being here as well.
     
  • And Chris Lambert, the Founder & CEO of Life Remodeled, who has brought us together today at this beautiful location, which will be the site of one our nation’s very first EnVision Centers.
     
  • What we are doing with the launch of our EnVision Centers in Detroit, and surrounding communities, will help further the rebirth of this city, its neighborhoods, and families.
     
  • Today we are announcing our first round of EnVision Center designations in 17 communities around the country. These Centers will offer a more holistic housing approach by connecting HUD-assisted families with the tools they need to become self-sufficient and to flourish.
     
  • It’s our way for bringing hope and opportunity to thousands of families. Our Centers will encourage our assisted residents to take the first steps up the ladder of opportunity. 
     
  • These Centers will be unique in several ways – from partners to programs to bi-partisanship.  
     
  • Never before have federal agencies, state and local governments, the private sector, the faith-based community, and non-profits groups come together, at this level of coordination, to advance economic opportunity and self-sufficiency.
     
  • We are taking a targeted approach – with each EnVision Center acting as a centralized hub to support, what we call, the “four pillars of self-sufficiency”: Educational Advancement, Economic Empowerment, Health and Wellness, and Character and Leadership Development.
     
  • HUD will develop key tools to track and measure resident outcomes – in employment, health, education, among other areas. This will ensure the EnVision Centers are able to monitor and achieve progress that is in line with the goals of the program.
     
  • We will not measure success by the number of people who enter these Centers. To measure real success, we need to consider the number of persons who achieve self-sufficiency, by measuring the number of persons who no longer require our programs, and who gain the financial independence to now be able to rent, or even buy, their own homes.
     
  • After all, you would not gauge success by the number of patients entering a hospital; rather, you would focus on the number of people exiting the hospital healed.
     
  • Given that no size fits all, no two Centers will be alike. Each Center will be designed with input from the local community and through resident councils, to ensure that the unique needs of the community are being met.
     
  • Overall, the despair of any of our families in public housing is OUR business as well as OUR problem to help solve. The creation of the EnVision Centers is one more solution to helping solve this immense challenge -- of helping families move out of poverty and federal assistance and into a more rewarding life, full of opportunity and hope.
     
  • The road to self-sufficiency is not an easy path. But we all must come together and try. Our values and principles tell us it is the responsibility of all to lend a helping hand. Our nation’s vulnerable families deserve nothing less. I’m sure this is something we can all agree on.
     
  • George Washington Carver once said, “where there is no vision, there is no hope.” If we ever hope to succeed in helping families, we need to envision a new path forward—one that focuses on the whole family and not just the roof over their heads.
     
  • Thank you again for coming. Mr. Mayor, would you like to say a few words?

[Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks next]