Community Service Foundation to Host Free Financial Fitness Workshop at PCHA

Community Service Foundation will provide a two-part series of free Financial Fitness workshops. The workshops will be held at the Pinellas County Housing Authority’s Central Office which is located at 11479 Ulmerton Road in Largo. The first workshop of the series will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, October 21st,  and the second from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, October 28th.

Attendees will learn how to complete a budget plan based on household income and monthly expenses. The workshop is designed for anyone who desires to save money and gain better control over their finances.

The workshop will teach ways to:

  • reduce energy expenses
  • reduce monthly grocery bills
  • save on costly car repairs
  • take vacations for next to nothing
  • strengthen credit scores.

To register for the free workshops, please visit the Community Service Foundation website at www.csfhome.org or call (727) 461-0618, ext. 3.

Ridgecrest Boys & Girls Club Names Youth Representatives of the Year 2015

 

 

Boysgirlsclub

Keeping with a long tradition of recognizing youth for their service and achievements, the Ridgecrest Boys & Girls Club recently named two very deserving recipients to hold the titles of Junior and Senior Youth of the Year 2015.

Ms. Aiyanna Pollard was selected for the title of Ridgecrest Boys & Girls Club Junior Youth of the Year 2015.  All of the candidates were asked to write essays entitled “What my BGC Means to Me”, and then present them to the other Club members, parents, staff, and judges.  As a result, Aiyanna was selected as the winner after the completion of her presentation and individual interview with the judges. Aiyanna is a resident of Rainbow Village.  We’re very proud of Aiyanna!

Ms. Kassindjaa Montague was chosen as the Ridgecrest Boys & Girls Club Senior Youth of the Year 2015. She was also the Senior Youth of the Year last year!  At the annual Youth of the Year Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Kassindjaa gave her speech before a crowd of over 130 community supporters.  She discussed how her experiences at the Boys & Girls Club have helped her to be on the right path in school, and have also helped her to have more positive relationships with her family and friends.

Kassindjaa was also named the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast Youth of the Year!  Kassindjaa will now advance to the statewide competition, and will travel to Miami to complete.  We wish her the very best of luck!

PCHA congratulates Aiyanna and Kassindjaa!

 

Aiyanna Kassindjaa

PCHA Partners for Employability Skills Training and Job-Readiness and Placement Program for Low-Income Families

The Pinellas County Housing Authority has implemented a program for residents and participants of PCHA’s programs to enhance employability skills and opportunity as well as develop valuable professional skills.

PCHA has contracted with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Family Center (NFC), and Greater Ridgecrest Area Youth Development Initiative (GRAYDI), to implement the new program.  The programs are designed to provide residents with employability skills training, as well as personal and professional development, with the end goal of job placement.R I S E  Training Flyer (2)

Participants in the program will learn better positive decision making skills, time management, critical thinking, along with social skills like how to network. The program offers training on how to write a resume, effective techniques for interviews, and job-searching methods. Help with programs like Microsoft Office and Outlook is also available. Each individual will be assigned a mentor who is available for mock-interviews and one-on-one advising. Mentors will also provide motivation, guidance, and are expected to follow-up with program participants during the first weeks of employment. The program also incentivizes employment by rewarding milestones with useful bonuses like bus passes, and gas cards.

All participants in PCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher program and residents of PCHA’s public housing and Norton Apartments are eligible to participate.

 

First Residents Return to Landings at Cross Bayou in Time for Thanksgiving

Just in time for Thanksgiving, residents have started returning to Pinellas County Housing Authority’s (PCHA) newly renovated Landings at Cross Bayou in St. Petersburg. As the holiday season approaches, the families to return to the new community are settling into brand new, energy efficient, affordable housing units. Ms. Pamela Quince, a returning resident said, “The relocation process was great, I did not have any problems. I was able to come back to a new place, and I just love it!”

Completely renovated inside and out with sustainable, modern improvements, the former French Villas public housing community will be home to approximately 350 residents when construction is complete by spring 2015.

Late last year, the property was converted from public housing to a new HUD program, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which allows housing authorities nationwide new opportunities to reinvest in their properties. Built in 1970, the old French Villas property was plagued with severe issues stemming from an aged and obsolete infrastructure that had reached the end of its useful life. Every unit on site needed to be gutted and remodeled, from the inside out. Residents living on the property were provided relocation rental assistance and relocated during the renovation process.

The interior design of the new units at Landings at Cross Bayou incorporates state-of-the-art, energy saving improvements such as Energy Star Certified appliances and ceiling fans in every unit, programmable thermostats, outdoor lighting with daylight sensors, and Energy Star Certified cool-roofs on each building. Additionally, every unit will be equipped with new cabinetry and countertops in the kitchens and bathroom, as well as beautiful ceramic tiled floors.  Each individual unit will be wired and for high-speed internet as well.   The new community will also feature a covered, outdoor picnic area with permanent picnic tables and a grill to use, as well as a basketball court to play on.  The new Youth Center Building will house a library, a new computer lab with internet access for residents, though as well.

Ms. Quashell Davis echoed Quince’s feeling on the process of relocation, and upon seeing the finished Landings remarked, “I love the features!” Residents like Quince and Davis will now enjoy many of the same amenities expected of any newly-constructed apartment complex.

As PCHA continues its commitment to the residents of Landings, a youth based athletic program to engage and support children in the community is already in the planning stages. The end of March 2015 will see all residents moved into their new homes; just in time for the community ribbon-cutting. Landings at Cross Bayou no longer suffers from inadequate, outdated plumbing, and unsanitary conditions, but instead is a modern icon of the improving quality of public and affordable housing.

ROSS Residents at Lakeside Terrace Get New Computer Lab Thanks to PCHA

Thanks to the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA), participants of the Resident Opportunity Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program at Lakeside Terrace now have access to a brand new community computer lab, located in the shared community center between Lakeside Terrace and Crystal Lakes Manor.

The lab features six computer stations with high-speed internet access and free printing. Each computer will take advantage of Microsoft OneDrive, a cloud-storage based service that allows residents to edit, share, and save Microsoft Office files on a personal account, without the need for a USB thumb-drive or disc. Using OneDrive makes saved files accessible on any device with an internet connection. Three floor-to-ceiling bookcases will host a rotating variety of books made available through partnership with the Clearwater Public Library System. For those visually-impaired and wishing to enlarge books or photos, a state-of-the-art video magnifier has been generously donated to the community by the Lakeside Terrace and Crystal Lakes Manor Resident Associations.

The computer lab may be used for school, work, and employment-related activities. Job openings and links to job-hunting websites like Indeed.com and SnagAJob.com will be posted in the lab for residents to take advantage of as well. Additional workshops and skill-building classes will be offered in the future to help residents learn résumé-writing techniques and basic computer and internet search skills, while trained volunteers are available to assist daily. The computer lab is currently open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, but will close each day between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. Additional hours may become available in the future as lab usage increases. On Friday, October 10th, there was an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to help welcome the residents.

Through the ROSS program, residents are provided with additional valuable resources to help them reach a stable life of self-sufficiency and independence. To find out more about the program, please contact our ROSS coordinator at (727) 216-6746.