Gary Housing Center is new site of HUD EnVision Center

Kendra Johnson, left, a Gary Housing Authority resident who will serve as an administrative assistant for the GHA’s adult education center, talks with John Schlatter, adult education assistant manager for the Center of Workforce Innovations on Tuesday. (Carole Carlson / Post-Tribune)


Gary will be home to one of 18 federal EnVision Center programs designed to provide local citizens with wrap-around services from job training to health assistance to steer them on a path to self-sufficiency.

Joseph Galvan, Midwest regional administration for U.S. Housing and Urban Development, announced the designation Tuesday at the Genesis Towers, which will be the site of the program.

It will be Indiana’s second EnVision program, officials said. “EnVision Centers are our way of bringing hope and opportunity, they serve as a springboard to success for thousands of families across the nation,” Galvan said.

Genesis Towers, at 578 Broadway, is a senior housing facility operated by the Gary Housing Authority and it’s the GHA’s headquarters. Officials said the services offered through the EnVision program are for GHA residents and other citizens of Gary.

GHA executive director Julian Marsh said the EnVision Center philosophy is based on providing economic empowerment, education, health support and character and leadership training. The centers are typically located in or near public housing developments to serve as a centralized hub.

A training room at Genesis Towers will house its adult education program, assisting students in gaining their high school equivalency diploma. That program kicks off on Oct. 15 said instructor Liz Brooks.

Jose Ibarra, GHA resident services coordinator, said a host of services will be offered including Social Security staffers keeping hours at Genesis Towers.

He said partners in the EnVision Center include non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, the GHA, housing finance agencies and local, state and federal governments.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said she saw an EnVision Center in Detroit and began lobbying for one in Gary. She hopes to thank HUD Secretary Ben Carson when she travels to Washington Nov. 7.

“We know the EnVision Center is one of Carson’s initiatives. It’s by far, one of the most successful ones he’s undertaken,” said Freeman-Wilson.

Gary’s EnVision Center will begin by meeting with community members in a resource fair slated from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the second floor ballroom at Genesis Towers.

For more information, contact the GHA at 219-881-5098 or email at

Carole Carlson is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
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