New Programs for Tidewater Gardens Residents Focus on Youth Financial Literacy and Resident History Recordings

Tidewater Gardens residents of all ages can take advantage of two new, innovative programs offered by People First, empowered by USI.

Young Investors Group focuses on building wealth and improving financial literacy for Black youth. The organization will provide financial education training to middle and high school students. Focal points of the program include earning power, purpose, value of money, investments, stock market and designing and creating projects inspired by the history of African contributors to the African American culture.

Don’t Duck History, sponsored by United Charitable, will provide Tidewater Gardens residents an opportunity to document their voices and experiences related to race and local, state and/or national history. Residents will be presented topics to choose from and resources to learn from in developing their stories. Selected writings and/or interviews will be included in a book/series of books. The books will be presented to the participants and made available to the Norfolk Public Library and be incorporated into the redevelopment of Tidewater Gardens.

Both programs, led by Black women, were awarded funding through micro-grants from People First, empowered by USI.  Micro-grant opportunities are available to companies that demonstrate an innovative approach to addressing the needs of Tidewater Gardens residents through the key services pillars of education, economic mobility, health and wellness.  The City of Norfolk invests $3.5 million each year to support People First.

People First Empowered by Urban Strategies, Inc. (USI) is a human capital development program designed to improve conditions of well-being for families directly impacted by the comprehensive redevelopment of Tidewater Gardens in Norfolk. The People First Initiative was created in response to residents’ desire for individualized supportive services to enhance their life outcomes. The City of Norfolk procured USI to implement and lead this initiative and invests $3.5 million each year into it.

Founded in 1978, USI is a national nonprofit leader with extensive experience in implementing data-driven human capital development strategies in communities that are undergoing comprehensive physical revitalization. The organization supports communities while working with robust partner networks to develop equity-centered economic opportunities, cradle-to-college/career success, high-quality health services, and a range of comprehensive service supports. USI is an organization of color led by people of color seeking equitable results for children and families living in 37 communities throughout 21 metropolitan cities, including two territories.