Optimum/Carver Public Housing Economic Empowerment Tour

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With the rates of unemployment at an all time high, homes in foreclosure, credit plummeting, and the economy is in a mess, the dire need for financial literacy is crucial to the vitality of our nation – especially in our Public Housing Communities.

Common with financial strife, the Public Housing Community only experiences additional obstacles during this time period of economic recession.  Currently, these  residents are struggling, due to their personal financial circumstances, as well as their housing circumstances. Rent is rising within public housing, federal funding is gone and state funding has run out. Therefore, rates are being inflated in order to push residents out.  The overall agenda is to use prime real estate to create different property, such as highrise condos and other high-income residences. Public Housing Communities have limited resources or options and the majority of the community is oblivious to what is happening around them. Carver Bank teamed up with Optimum Capital Management and launched the Public Housing Economic Empowerment Tour to build a catalyst of hope, opportunity and most importantly, education to individuals in the Public Housing community.  

With a successful tour of the Brooklyn Public Housing areas, the Optimum-Carver Public Housing Economic Empowerment Tour as now moved to Harlem, New York.

Tuesday February 17, 2008 and Thursday February 19, 2008, The Public Housing Tour visited the Manhattanville Community Center and Clinton Center in Harlem, New York. In today’s society, there are endless reasons for financially empowerment. There are limited resources within these communities, The Public Housing Tour Provided the resources. They have also recently brought the Tour to

Ryan Mack, CEO of Optimum Capital Management conducted an informational session on the basics of finance. With a mature audience, Mr. Mack discussed general issues in the community such as the avoiding the financial traps of check cashing places, Rent-A-Centers and The Rush Card. Also the improvement of credit and credit card management were discussed according to the preference of the audience.

Lloyd Cambridge, CFO of Optimum Capital Management discussed the importance of ownership and the proper use of power.   Change starts within the house hold; therefore as the family gets educated, it can encourage teamwork, as well as financial stability.  The purpose of money is to essentially build, consume and to give.  Individuals should take responsibility of and have the knowledge to manage their assets and capital, properly distributing their money creating power and ownership within the community. Building businesses, and expanding possibilities. Lloyd provides resources for starting businesses and family empowerment.

Damon Jenkins, President of TSD Construction, provided the uplifting story of perseverance. Growing up in public housing himself and serving time in prison has not stopped Jenkins from starting his own company.  Offering job training and opportunities within his company, his encouraging story is the perfect example of knowledge building power and power creating endless possibilities.

All About Business, Optimum Capital Management’s Financial Literacy group exponentially represents the power of youth within today’s society. Marquise Terry (Co-Founder of AAB) and Claressa Garcia (Communications Director of AAB) have been teaching financial literacy to both teens and adults.  Each with a compelling story to tell, Terry and Garcia are empowering youth by spreading  economic empowerment information within their community and beyond.

Optimum-Carver Public Housing Economic Empowerment Tour has already visited Wagner School at East 120th Street and Pleasant Avenue in Harlem, and Saratoga Senior Center in Brownsville Brooklyn. 

Future seminars include the following:

March 3rd
Seth Low CC
(Howard, Unity, Langston, Tilden, Van Dyke)
137 Belmont Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11212
(b/w Christopher Ave. & Sackman St.)

Wednesday, March 4th
Sumner CC
(Bushwick, Cooper, Tompkins, Roosevelt, Williamsburg)
862 Park Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(b/w Marcus Garvey Blvd. & Broadway)

March 5th
Brevoort CC
(Albany, Kingsborough, Ocean Hill, Stuyvesant Gardens)
280 Ralph Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11213
(b/w Sumpter St. & Marion St.)

March 10th
Independence CC
(Taylor Wythe, Williams Plaza)
114 Taylor St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(b/w Bedford Ave. & Whyte Pl.)

Wednesday, March 11th
Atlantic Terminal CC
(Farragut, Lafayette Gardens, Whitman, Wyckoff)
501 Carlton Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(b/w Atlantic Ave. & Pacific St.)
Thursday, March 12th

To see a video about the Optimum-Carver Public Housing Economic Empowerment Tour, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqm-pUxz9g  

Claressa Garcia is a BSN Contributing Writer and Director of Communications for AAB (All About Business)

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