BY JAMES MARCHESE
A recent grant proposal for a partnership program between Norwalk Housing Authority(NHA) and the college was not accepted by the city of Norwalk Grant Review Committee.
According to the city of Norwalks website the city ranks grants in order of importance. To be considered a competitive grant you need a score of at least 60, this grant didn’t make the grade.
The project abstract found on the city of Norwalk’s website states that the Norwalk Housing Authority in conjunction with the college was to offer 16 to 20 families in low-income public housing education and job training.
The purpose of the project is to improve the employment options and increase the capacity for financial self-efficiency for the participants. The program will include comprehensive job skills training and residents will receive enhanced economic opportunities.
“It certainly sounds like a good opportunity to reach out to the community for the people to get more opportunities than normal,” said student Mary Rose Garych.
The project abstract also stated the average household income in the Norwalk subsidized housing is $13,326. According to the United States Census Bureau website for one person living alone under 65 years of age the poverty threshold is $11,945; for two people that number increases to $15,374. The average of income for families in subsidized housing is below the U.S. national poverty line.
“I think people aren’t aware of how people live in our own city,” said Garych.
In the statistics found on the proposal in the Norwalk subsidized housing there are 642 work-eligible adults between the ages of 19 and 58 who were to be the intended beneficiaries of the program. 60 percent of the population is black, 35 percent are Hispanic or Latino. 85 percent are female and 15 percent are male.
According to the project proposal in the past year 51 NHA low income subsidized housing residents enrolled in health career and other certificate programs offered at the college, most did not even have a resume prior to their enrollment. Of the participants, 12 have gone on to obtain employment in their fields. Another two of them went on to continue their education and get their bachelor’s degrees.
According to the project outline, since the project will serve low income families, individuals, disabled and senior citizens residing in subsidized housing, the project meets one of the three National Objectives of benefitting low and moderate income persons, and the project is eligible under Goal Three of Norwalk’s Consolidated Plan: Support efforts to ameliorate the impacts of this economic depression on families.