Ensuring Housing Stability Through Enterprise Communities Plus
Enterprise Communities Plus (EC Plus) is a program that connects affordable housing residents to curated services through a network of neighborhood-based providers designed to help ensure long-term housing stability for affordable housing residents by connecting them to local supports and opportunities. This program model is being tested in Upper Manhattan, connecting residents to services such as workforce development, financial counseling, child care, and adult education.
East Harlem Talent Network (EHTN), EC Plus’s workforce development partner in East Harlem, was created in October 2014 after a partnership of East Harlem community-based organizations asked themselves, “What would it look like if we developed a program to get local people into local jobs?” EHTN’s mission is to strengthen the East Harlem community by connecting people in East Harlem and the surrounding area to sustainable employment and opportunities for growth and advancement.
Linking people to local jobs means families can remain close to their community. Employers that seek candidates through EHTN see the value in local hiring and respect the communities in which they operate. EC Plus helps affordable housing residents in East Harlem access EHTN’s services, which can have a profound impact on their lives.
Adriane Mack, the Director of East Harlem Talent Network, has been with the program since it began and as an East Harlem resident is “passionate about seeing a community grow and be connected to the opportunities that are in the neighborhood.” Through her work with EHTN, Adriane saw that when you connect people to employment, thereby helping them pay their rent, get their finances back on track, and save money, they are able to focus more on self-improvement.
By alleviating the stresses of financial instability and allowing individuals to focus on setting personal goals, a good job often leads to many other positive outcomes, like greater housing stability, more time spent with one’s children, heathier food choices, and educational achievements. Arie, a young mother with a 1-year-old son, completed a training program with EHTN and was placed in an internship. After a successful internship period, the company decided to bring her on full-time. This opportunity allowed Arie to focus on other aspects of her life: she moved into a new apartment with a backyard where her son can play and is considering going back to school.
Employment is critical to housing stability and a family’s wellbeing more broadly. Enterprise Communities Plus is proud to help connect residents of affordable housing with critical service providers like East Harlem Talent Network.