The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) is gearing up for its Annual Summer Youth Program with the support of Birmingham City Councilor Steven Hoyt.
Last week, Hoyt awarded HABD $15,000 in District 8 discretionary funds to go towards training activities and stipend payments for the participants of the summer program.
“I grew up in public housing and I understand the importance of persons investing in you because my community did so for me,” Hoyt said. “It’s just a way of giving back and really just to further the great work that’s going on with the housing authority. Having new leadership there who has a great vision for the authority certainly mirrors my intent and that is to support the housing authority, and certainly our young people.
“We have to get them engaged and I think the summer enrichment affords them that opportunity to have some wholesome activities and feel good about themselves,” he added.
HABD’s three-week Summer Youth Program is for children ages 14–18 years old and will include virtual sessions and assignments; in-person athletic activities that follow COVID-19 safety precautions; and community service projects.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day through a partnership with the Birmingham City School System. Upon completion of the program, the participants will receive a certificate of completion and a $500 stipend. One of the highlights of the annual program is the Completion Ceremony on the last day, where the youth give testimonials about their experiences.
HABD President/CEO. David A. Northern, Sr., said “We greatly appreciate the financial support of the Birmingham City Council which will allow us to enhance the summer program experience for our young clients. Expanding programs that are engaging for our youth is very important to the agency and we will be introducing more programs in the near future that will help shape character, teach life skills, develop leadership skills, and encourage our young people to succeed.”
Through community and business partnerships, some of the activities of the 2021 Summer Youth Program include virtual STEM education classes; athletic activities at various locations including golf, tennis, boxing and chess; and The Mario Addison Football, Cheerleader, and Dance Camps.
Armon Matthews, HABD’s Interim VP of Community Engagement, said, “Our community engagement staff has worked hard with our partners to develop the curriculum for the summer program and I truly believe the youth will gain a wealth of knowledge and insight from our presenters. One vital component of the summer program focuses on educational goals and career paths, and the goal is for the youth to begin thinking about their future and exploring the different jobs or trades.”
HABD’s is still accepting applications for the program. Applications are available inside the property management office at each HABD public housing community. The completed application can be given to the property management office staff or left in the drop box. HABD’s community center staff will contact all youth eligible for the program to provide a date and time for an interview.
Participants must be an HABD client enrolled in school to be eligible. For more information, please contact Armon Matthews at 205–521–0613.
HABD provides affordable housing opportunities to 23,000 plus people in the Birmingham area.