|Nashville Center Celebrates Fair Housing Month|
The CWA-Cayce Learning Center and the Nashville HUD Office recently sponsored two community activities to celebrate Fair Housing Month that focused on providing services and housing to the growing refugee population in Nashville, Tennessee.
“In this neighborhood, we have a large Somali population,” explains Becky Foy, director of the CWA-Cayce Learning Center. “There is also a large Kurdish population and a large Hispanic population in Nashville.”
The center serves more than 2,500 residents of CWA Plaza Apartments, owned by the Communication Workers of America local union #3808, and the James A. Cayce Homes, Nashville's largest public housing development. The learning center, which was founded as a Neighborhood Networks center in 1996, offers ESL (English as a second language) classes, employment assistance classes, an afterschool program, and a summer program for children.
“Our ESL program is unlike others in the city because it's offered within an apartment complex,” Foy says. “The Somali culture frowns upon women being too far from their homes. Having the center here gives the women an opportunity to learn English without having to leave the neighborhood. Many of the women have small children, and this arrangement makes it much more practical to have everything available right next door.”
On April 23 the CWA-Cayce Learning Center hosted a workshop on addressing the needs of refugee renters. Twenty-five representatives from the local HUD office, the local housing authority, and social services agencies attended the workshop, which was designed to educate participants about culture shock, fair housing issues facing those new to the United States, and area resources.
“Refugees sometimes face discrimination because they are different from the normal clientele most landlords see,” says Foy. “Many Somalis in Nashville have tight-knit and extended families, sometimes including grandparents, adult children, and adult siblings. Some Somalis have been unable to find landlords to rent to them because their families are so large.”
Speakers included psychologist Dr. Aviva Wasserman; Somali immigrant Abdelghani Barre; Tracey McCartney, executive director of the Tennessee Fair Housing Council; and Pat Clark of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.
On April 30 the learning center and Nashville HUD office recognized area agencies that provide exceptional service to refugees. HUD representatives presented certificates to CWA Plaza Apartments; property management company TAMCO; CWA Local 3808, which owns the property; the CWA-Cayce Learning Center; World Relief; Catholic Charities; Metro Refugee English Program; and the residents of the CWA Apartments.
Future plans for the CWA-Cayce Learning Center include computer training. “We use computers in all of our programs,” says Foy. “But we don't have any formal computer training, so we're looking at how to make that happen. We'd like to find volunteers to help with the computer training.”
For more information about the CWA-Cayce Learning Center, contact:
CWA-Cayce Learning Center
520 South Fifth Street
Nashville, TN 37206
Phone: (615) 248-4029
For more information about Neighborhood Networks centers in Tennessee, contact:
Carolyn A. Davis
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development–Nashville Office
235 Cumberland Bend Drive
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: (615) 736-5069
|Center(s) Highlighted or Profiled:||CWA-Cayce Community Learning Center|
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Department of Housing and Urban
451 7th Street S.W.,
Washington, DC 20410
708-1112 TTY: (202)