The National Community Development Association (NCDA) has recognized the collaborative effort between the City of Orlando, Orange County Government and Lighthouse Central Florida by honoring them with the 2015 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award. The award will be presented at the National Community Development Association event in Washington, D.C., on January 22, 2016.
This partnership is being recognized as a national model for the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to uplift the local community and benefit residents with unique needs like sight impairment. The project – Lighthouse Works! – was funded by CDBG funds in the amount of $900,000 from Orange County and $300,000 from the City of Orlando, supporting Lighthouse Central Florida’s efforts to acquire, rehabilitate and expand a warehouse facility to provide workplace opportunities for individuals with blindness and severe vision loss in the Central Florida area.
“The City of Orlando is proud to have partnered with Lighthouse Central Florida and Orange County Government on this important community project,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This furthers our efforts to ensure all of our residents have access to jobs, training and opportunities that both strengthen our economy and the quality of life in our City.”
In the first four months since the expansion, employment of individuals with vision impairment has increased by more than 150 percent. Mitchell Glasser, Manager of Orange County’s Housing and Community Development Division, noted that Lighthouse Central Florida has been a recipient of CDBG public service funding from Orange County for a number of years. “Through our ongoing partnership with this agency, we recognized the need for this type of capital investment which has elevated the work and outcomes of this organization.”
Source : City of Orlando