ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority will get $3,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development toward job training for those in low-income areas.
The Star City is only one of nine cities across the country receiving money for this kind of project. This grant will help serve nearly 350 households in the Lansdowne Park area. HUD regional administrator Jane Vincent said there were 50 cities in the running for the grant.
The Landsdowne Park area has a high average of people with no- and low-income. According to HUD, 95 percent of people who live in that area receive some type of government assistance.
"Clearly this is a place where we need to try to help the people live here take advantage of resources that are available," Vincent said.
Single father of four, Theo Boardley, said the program helped him turn his life around. He was unemployed and unable to provide for his family. But after the program helped him get training necessary to follow his passion - cooking - he has a full-time job at Richfield Retirement Community.
"Before I got to the program, my life was spiraling down. I really didn't know what direction I wanted to go in life," Boardley explained. "All the doors started opening for me and my life started coming together."
It is the best job he says he's ever had. It's now been two years since Boardley went through the program. He said his entire family is much happier, in a better home, a better school and in a different state of mind.
"I've never seen my kids behavior changed the way it is. Their grades changed. They get all A's now," Boardley explained.
Boardley credits it all to his new career. It's an opportunity that will be available to many more facing the same struggles he once did.