Photo by Choctaw Nation
Chief Gary Batton and Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr. are joined by representatives from the Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at the opening of the Choctaw Nation EnVision Center Friday, May 17 in Poteau.
First tribal EnVision Center in the U.S. opens in Poteau
POTEAU, Okla. – The Choctaw Nation opened the doors Friday, May 17, to the first EnVision Center run by and for Native Americans. Last summer, the Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was chosen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as one of 17 EnVision Center communities in the country. It was the only tribe selected.
That plan became a reality when officials from the Choctaw Nation, HUD, Le Flore County and the City of Poteau came together for a ribbon cutting ceremony held in front of the center at 511 Nanih Waiya Rd., Poteau.
“It is an honor to partner with HUD on the EnVision Center pilot demonstration,” said Chief Gary Batton of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “Their values align with ours, and their service delivery encompasses much of our current philosophy. Our goal is to better the lives of our tribal citizens, and we believe this partnership will do just that.”
Scott A. Grosfield, senior director of support services for the tribe’s housing authority, notes that the goal of an EnVision center is to offer families efficient access to support services that can help them achieve self-sufficiency. The housing authority sees this as an opportunity to enhance its service-coordination program that currently reaches across more than 10,000 square miles. In addition to the Poteau center, there will be temporary “pop-up offices” at various locations in the 10½ counties of the Choctaw Nation.
“The Choctaw Nation EnVision Center is an investment in America’s most important resource – our people,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The Center will offer helpful resources to tribal residents and promote self-sufficiency among Choctaw Nation, HUD-assisted households. Everyone can achieve their American dream – we just need to create conditions in which people can actualize their potential, and that’s what today’s opening is all about.”
For information, contact Shelby Holt, EnVision coordinator, at 918-647-3665, firstname.lastname@example.org or EnvisionCenter@choctawnation.com. The Choctaw Nation EnVision Center also has a web site at www.choctawnation.com/EnVisionCenter.
The Choctaw Nation
The Choctaw Nation is the third largest Indian Nation in the United States with close to 200,000 tribal members and 10,000 employees. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, the historic boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage, and traditions, please go to www.choctawnation.com.