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--- Issued January 2, 2013

The Erie Housing Authority’s 75th Anniversary Calendar for 2013 is the eleventh in a series that showcases the richness of the Erie public housing experience.  The calendar celebrates the Authority's 75th Anniversary.

"In previous calendars, we have featured many of the unique and unexpected contributions that our residents made during and after their time in public housing. All of our calendars from 2003 through 2012 are available on the Authority’s web site, www.hace.org," John Horan, executive director of the Authority, wrote in his annual message introducing the calendar.

"In 2013 we are extremely proud to feature 12 of our employees who started their careers with us when they were residents of public housing. The Housing Authority’s mission includes assisting our residents to achieve economic self-sufficiency. That entails many strategies, one of which is to provide employment opportunities at the Housing Authority for residents of public housing.  Our current workforce includes 66 full-time employees, 24 of whom were residents of public housing when their employment began.  Their individual stories are compelling and a few of them might bring the reader to tears.

"Each of these employees has made this organization better at what we do. They understand firsthand the difficulties our residents face in their own struggle to achieve self-sufficiency. They have all walked the walk.

"The road out of poverty is a process.  The key ingredients are education, training and opportunity. We provide all three here at the Housing Authority. These employees have taken part in the many services offered by the Housing Authority, including: adult basic education, GED and English-as-a-second language classes, and our Step-Up training program.  Education and training only go so far. Opportunity is what makes us different at the Housing Authority. We practice what we preach. We gave each of these individuals an opportunity. For many, it was their first. They made the best of that opportunity.  All of them started at entry level positions. Most have moved up to more responsible and better paying positions. Several are now supervisors. Most are now home owners.

"We salute all our employees who started out in public housing. You are a credit to the Housing Authority, to your families and to the Erie community."