Oak Ridgers Gather to Celebrate and Empower Families
Oak Ridge Housing Authority Hosts the Celebration
OAK RIDGE, TN, June 18 – This Father’s Day weekend, the Oak Ridge Housing Authority (ORHA) hosted its first annual Strong Families Celebration, part of a nationwide initiative to empower fathers, mothers, and children in creating healthy, nurturing environments for their families and neighborhoods. Families from both the housing and voucher programs joined together for a day of fun in the sun, featuring food, vendor booths from Oak Ridge businesses and organizations, and activities for children. The Anderson County Health Department was also present to provide free COVID vaccinations.
“This was a great way to bring the community together,” Emily Newell, ORHA resident said. “I really appreciate having a place to come meet my neighbors and their families.”
The Strong Families Initiative was created by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2011, founded on the three pillars of promoting health, education, and economic empowerment. The program was created in response to the rising rate of single-parent households living in public housing; as many as 75% of all families in those homes are led by single women.
“We want to put families on their best footing for successful parentage,” Maria Catron, ORHA Executive Director said. “The best way to do that is by providing support and connections to resources which in turn can empower families and revitalize communities.”
ORHA operates over 128 public housing units in Oak Ridge. Its mission is to provide affordable housing to income-eligible families and veterans, to foster self-sufficiency, and to create a vibrant, stable community. ORHA is a federally-funded organization separate from the City of Oak Ridge. Each year its operations contribute $1.6 million to the Oak Ridge economy. Visit ORHA.net for more information.