Resident Educational Prosperity (REP) Zone Initiative
University of Georgia-Griffin Campus and the Griffin Housing Authority
To support a series of projects conducted in collaboration between UGA and GHA designed to provide public housing residents with continual life enriching educational opportunities that will enable them to prosper and eventually achieve a higher quality of life resulting in self-sufficiency and reduced/eliminated need for housing assistance.
- Resident education program ($5,000): The first half of the year was spent assisting GHA in the development of the REP program concept and guidelines. The Education Prosperity Zone committee was established to meet regularly to solicit community input. In addition, the UGA components was organized and established. Since January 2014 the majority of the program was spent developing the resident survey for the Meriwether Redevelopment Assessment Study.
- Kids University/Enriching Young Minds ($23,544): Report submitted separately. Fifteen children who are residents of the GHA participated in on-campus program in the summer of 2014. Activities included science and technology instruction as well as art, animation and photography, and healthy living instruction. In addition, 10 children participated in the Zero Robotics program at the Fairmont Community Center in the summer of 2014.
- Young Scholar Program ($3,000): This program supported a high school student selected by GHA to work on campus in the summer to engage in agricultural research.
- Community Garden ($19,956): Report submitted separately. Two program assistants were hired by the Spalding County Extension Office to guide and support a community garden adjacent to Fairmont Homes. Today the garden boasts 18 raised beds, fruit trees, brambles and a community area. Governance of garden affairs was turned over to the Healthy Living Community Garden Board in July. The garden served as a catalyst for the formation of a community revitalization task force to improve the neighborhood. The University of Georgia’s Center of Community Design and Preservation (CCDP) at the College of Environment and Design (CED) was invited in. They held an intensive three-day workshop with 23 graduate students in Historic Preservation and Landscape Architecture. The plan developed by these students will serve as a road map for neighborhood improvement.
- Financial/personal training ($20,000): Report submitted separately. Taking Charge is a 5-week workbook series that has served 20 participants. The purpose of the project was to provide basic financial and housing education support to Merriweather Residence adults by offering Taking Charge workshops to ensure relocated residents are equipped with basic financial management skills to ensure they do not default on housing payments and adjust financially after relocation. The second objective was to follow-up with program participants one-on-one to identify personal growth and challenges since taking the workshop and continue to provide case-by-case educational and referral support to help them achieve goals. The fall 2014 Cohort began with 5 participants and ended with 4 participants (there was one participant that attended the first session but did not complete the workshop). The spring 2014 Cohort began with 5 participants and all 5 completed the workshop.
- Backpack Food for Kids ($3,500): Report submitted separately.