As active members of the West Ocala Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee and using the West Ocala Community Plan as an example of the City's goals, Vision 2020 is necessary to address the fundamental or core competencies needed for sustainable change. More specifically, Vision 2020 will address the following questions: 1. What supplemental educational programs are needed to improve graduation rates? 2. What types of social services programs are needed to build stronger families and households? 3. How do we help small businesses start and flourish? 4. How do we transition more renters into homeowners? 5. What strategic partnerships are needed to address homelessness and substandard housing? 6. What programs are needed to address unemployment and under employment?
The West Ocala Roots and STEM Initiative, is a community-based STEM project in the West Ocala community of Ocala, Florida. The effort has emerged out of a partnership involving the TERC STEM and Boys of Color Project 1 , and the University of Denver, Morgridge College of Education. STEM provides powerful lenses for identifying additional opportunities to have meaningful impact in these areas, given the vital importance of STEM capacity to the quality of life in and to the economic, political and social well-being of communities, particularly communities of color. Further, embracing STEM capacity building in West Ocala asa community-based effort presents opportunities to develop a model based upon the rich histories and cultural traditions, including the arts, of West Ocala (hence the Roots and STEM characterization).
One House, One Block, One Neighborhood
At GOCDC, we realize long-term economic stability and sustainability is directly effected by home-ownership. Home-ownership and stable housing go hand-in-hand. Homeowners move far less frequently than renters, and hence are embedded into the same neighborhood and community for a longer period. This results in stronger neighbor relationships, lower crime, higher parental participation in education, small business growth and employment opportunities.
Therefore, we are seeking to become a Community Housing Development Organization and will work with HUD through programs such as the HOME, Good Neighbor Next Door, and SHIP funding, to build affordable housing on scattered lots throughout West Ocala. We will offer special financing options for law enforcement, teachers, and EMT families who are willing to move into areas where crime has affected the quality of life and property values.
The Greater Ocala Community Development Corporation is located at 1515 E Silver Springs Blvd Suite #132 Ocala, FL 34470