Housing Authority of the City of Frederick
To better acquaint our members and the greater community with our grantees, we are highlighting some of the nonprofit organizations that have received WGC grant funds. This quarter, we reached out to Ann Ryan, Director of Family Services at the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick.
Please introduce yourself. What is your role at your organization and how long have you been with the organization.
My name is Ann Ryan. I am the Director of Family Services for the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick. I have been with the Housing Authority for about 18 years.
What is the mission of the organization, and what personally moves you about that mission?
The mission of the Housing Authority to provide individuals and families with safe and affordable housing while also inviting each to build skills, education, income, and well-being. What moves me about our mission is that it allows us to be a part of the solution, where everyone in our Frederick community belongs, has access to opportunity, and can build prosperity.
What are the most significant challenges that the organization is facing right now? What are the most significant challenges faced by the clients/populations that you serve?
The most significant challenges the Housing Authority faces right now are gaps in funding to invest in all the ways we know have the highest impact for those we serve: high quality childcare, reliable transportation, living wage jobs, and affordable housing beyond public housing.
The most significant challenges our residents face are adequate food/nutrition support, high quality/affordable infant and toddler childcare, reliable transportation, adequate access to targeted academic enrichment for all students falling behind, obtaining a job with a living wage, and finding housing in the community that is affordable.
What is the nature of the Giving Circle grant that you received, and what impact will it have on women and their dependents in Frederick?
We were grateful to receive support from the Women's Giving Circle to help women with childcare expenses and transportation needs. The grants have been invaluable as both childcare and transportation are essential elements of the foundation of moving forward. All of the women we serve who are going to school must have both childcare and transportation in place if they have any hope of success.
We believe education is at the heart of building a path toward prosperity yet there are so many obstacles that low-income women must face if they are to be successful. The grants from the Women's Giving Circle have reduced those obstacles tremendously and increased the odds that the women we serve will continue to move forward.
Do you have any specific “stories” that you can share with us that illustrate what you are doing in the community?
We operate a program called Operation Education, focusing on the power of education and the opportunity it generates. The women are all in school, all with children who are included in their successes and achievements. In June, we will celebrate several college graduations, as well as the successes of many of the children. It is an investment in two-generation success. The Women's Giving Circle grants have been a vital part of this investment in prosperity for the families we serve.
Is there anything further that members of the Giving Circle can do to help, in terms of volunteering, in-kind donations, etc?
We so appreciate the support of the Women's Giving Circle over the years. It has truly made a difference. We are always looking for volunteers to help tutor middle and high school girls once a week.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This investment in the women we serve strengthens their families and the Frederick community. Thank you again, Women's Giving Circle, for including all these women in your circle!