HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett recently participated in the 2019 Resources for Community and Economic Development Impact Summit at the John Maxwell Leadership Center in Duluth, Georgia just north of Atlanta, joining other distinguished panel members and over 150 attendees to address the challenges of "generational poverty , deteriorating family and community structure" that is pervasive in the low to medium income communities in Georgia. The summit organized under the leadership of Deirdra Cox, President of Community Sustainability Enterprise (CSE), brought together thought leaders, employment and banking professionals as well as educators and mental health practitioners in a group and panel discussion format to discuss real world methods of addressing intergenerational poverty, wealth building and self-efficacy. Building on CSE's five pillars of success such as: Mental Health and Physical Wellness, Educational Attainment, Workforce Development, Financial Capability and Entrepreneurship the summit of its kind is focused on sharing of best practices and "building together thriving and sustainable people."
"It is through the vision and leadership we see today here in this room that the world of possibilities and hope may become a reality for those we mutually serve," said Cleveland-Leggett. "Self-efficacy is attainable and we are singularly focused to optimize the benefits of Secretary Carson's EnVision Center strategy, the Administration's Opportunity Zones tax benefits for qualified low income communities, Rental Assistance Demonstration program that innovatively preserves affordable housing and Section 3 job training and employment opportunities to include CDBG funding as major components of the solution."
The conference addressed in a lively question and answer panel format Building Thriving Communities through Strategic Integration of Affordable Housing and Success Services, How Success Services Build Equity and Generate Revenue and Building the Right Team, making an Impact and the Art of the Deal. The summit is the first its kind for CSE and they are looking to expand from the inaugural effort as they work to better educate, and interconnect thought leaders and practitioners to address best practices. Some of the innovative approaches involve are in the area of education and the utilization of a personal impact survey in schools to help identify early on students suffering from trauma and to help them find balance and purpose in their lives as it is a pervasive mental health issue among many young people.
Additionally, some school districts have aligned with companies to provide vocational skills and job opportunities for high school students while companies in the service industry are actively looking for and need employees to include those with technical skills too.
To learn more about Community Sustainability Enterprise please go to: www.communityse.org ; Twitter @CSEATL; Facebook at fb.me/CSEDevelops