HUD Newark Field Office Director Justin Scheid, and HUD Jobs Plus Program Grant Manager Maria-Lana Queen, participated in the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth’s (HACE) Jobs Plus virtual launch. The HACE received a $2.3 million Jobs Plus grant just as the COVID-19 shutdown started, and this was the culmination of the work they have done despite the challenges. HACE residents watched the launch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, enthusiastically participating, asking questions, and urging neighbors to take advantage of the Jobs Plus Program.
LaChelle Thompson, HACE Jobs Plus Program Coordinator, served as moderator, also welcoming William D. Jones, HACE Executive Director, Cathy Hart, HACE Deputy Executive Director; Margaret Church, LSW, HACE Jobs Plus Case Manager; and Meredith Barracato, Union County American Job Center Program Administrator.
In 2020, the HACE was chosen to join the ConnectHomeUSA Community Cohort, an initiative aimed at narrowing the digital divide in HUD-assisted communities across the country. The designation brings technical assistance resources that will enable public housing authorities to provide low-cost internet, devices, and digital literacy training. This allows residents to access and complete job applications, enroll in online classes and training, complete GED requirements, obtain higher education, and participate in all aspects of HUD’s Jobs Plus program. The HACE and ConnectHomeUSA initiative will assist residents that due to the COVID-19 pandemic must work from home.