Juvenile Officer Lloyd Anderson opens ambitious computer-based Apartment coalition designed to better educate low-income families

An HPD officer who founded 713 Ministries has returned to his childhood stomping ground to partner with community crusaders to sponsor a computer lab and organized sports, fine arts and field trips aimed at better educating low-income adults and children.

and 1st through 6th grade Books (PDF), phonemic awareness videos, sight words and much more. The aforementioned can be used by residents and volunteers to teach kids how to read, write and count.

GED & Adult Computer Training Center.  Because the computer center has Internet access the computers can be used for GED, Computer Literacy job searching and training, Distance Learning and so on).

Senior Citizens Computer Literacy Center.  Computer literacy classes for the elderly that will teach the elderly how to use the computer. Once they elderly become computer literate they can utilize a computer for E-health, Telemedicine, 24/7 access to websites for Federal, State and other agency information online; communicating with family and friends.

Statistics about the Southeast Houston Villa Americana Apartments and Surrounding Area:

  • The surrounding neighborhood of the Section 8 Villa Americana Apartments is considered by Harris County constable’s office as one of the highest crime-ridden spots in the City of Houston.
  • The majority of residents and children live below the federal poverty level.
  • Seventy-eight percent of these households are single mothers with at least two to four children.
  • About 65 percent of the children are teenagers at home along with other siblings.
  • The average household income is about $6,200 per year.
  • High rates of adult illiteracy and joblessness also plague this area. There are no resources nearby to assist in youth activities, education and jobs.
  • This ZIP code (77048) rates above average in all crime categories and has one of the highest ex-offender populations in Harris County, including a high concentration of juvenile delinquency, gang-related criminal activity and violence.

Officer Anderson said, “Miraculous things will occur when 90 percent of our children can read by age five.”

Ask yourself these questions and read the answer.

Why aren’t there more black male teachers?  Because 90 percent of black male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Why are there more black males in prison than in college? Because 90 percent of black male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Why is it that only 6.4 of Hispanic Houston High School Seniors Can Meet College Readiness Standards? Because 90 percent of Hispanic male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Why are there a greater number of black and Hispanic males participating in gangs, juvenile delinquency, and criminal activity and violence?  Because 90 percent of black and Hispanic male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Why are high school graduation rates in Texas cities so low? Houston 43 percent; Dallas 41 percent; San Antonio 47 percent. Because 90 percent of black and Hispanic male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Why do universities like TSU and UH Downtown have graduation rates below 16 percent? Because 90 percent of black and Hispanic male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Why is it that 75 percent of young adults cannot qualify for military service? Because 90 percent of black and Hispanic male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

Solution:  Ensure that all children and read and write by age five. Statistics show that children who can read by age five have a 90 percent chance of continuing to perform at their grade level throughout their school age years.

You should be a part of the Apartment Safe Haven Computer Center Initiative.

  • Apartment complexes: Improves the quality of life among the residents they serve.
  • Churches:  Safe Haven Computer Centers provide churches with the tool that they need to outreach into disenfranchised apartment communities.
  • Universities especially HBCU’s: Safe Haven Computer Centers will provide universities with the tool that they need to outreach into hundreds of disenfranchised apartment communities, thereby allowing colleges to academically nurture future students; implement research and strategies to improve quality of life; and build a trusting bond throughout the community they serve.
  • Companies and other organizations:  Improving the academic performance and quality of life of families throughout Houston creates a better business environment where future employees are academically qualified for employment.

Officer Lloyd E. Anderson grew up in the Villa Americana Apartments near Sterling High School in the South Park area from the time he turned 12 years old. Now a juvenile officer, Anderson sees this joint effort to create positive learning activities as a way to improve on the vast amount of negative statistics affecting low-income black families.

Anderson is asking serious sociological questions and answers each one with the following: Because 90 percent of black male students cannot read or write at their grade level!

The officer is plain-spoken and gets to the point of his joint effort: “The goal is to benefit children academically and socially by providing a nurturing environment where kids can be safe, plus learn and have fun.”

His 713 Ministries has partnered with two other groups, The Village Collective and Bridging the Digital Divide, in what is being called the Apartment Safe Haven Computer Centers Coalition. He said there is no limit to the number of community partners who can participate.

In an interview, Anderson said he added Trence Malone and his non-profit to his team. Reconstructing Lives is “a mentoring program geared specifically towards helping teens and young adults reach their full potential by assisting them step by step through life’s tough situations,” Anderson said.

“We want to find out what the community has to offer and bring those activities to the residents,” he explained, while stressing that while primarily designed for teenagers, the programs for reading skill improvement and improved computer literacy also are available to adults.

The Safe Haven computer training effort will feature positive role models and mentors for all participants.

Anderson led the official opening of the program the weekend of Feb. 21 on-site at Villa Americana, where he resided from age 12 to 22, although some of those later years he was a student at Prairie View A&M University.

The officer said about 25 community leaders from the political and religious segments attended the opening and expressed enthusiasm about the program’s intent.

“Installing Apartment Safe Haven Computer Centers is the best strategy for immediately having a positive impact on apartment communities because the computer centers attract all ages and academically and socially benefit people of all ages,” Anderson said.

Although religious leaders are urged to participate, Anderson said the core leaders of the program “don’t go into any of the religious factors. The major principle is character-building as a basis. We’ve got the community. They bring what they have, whether it’s safe transportation to church functions or food pantries that have food giveaways.

“We are open for those who would like to come and volunteer their time for after-school programs, computer training and for any other skills they have to offer to positively influence their community.”

Anderson said it is an honor to bring this type of program to his old neighborhood, but his real goal is to implement the program within every apartment community in the Houston area. So he encourages all churches, apartment complexes, companies and individuals to get involved.

His group’s official mission statement is “to improve the academic performance of disenfranchised communities by deploying computer centers within apartment communities where low income families live.”

Anderson said, “Utilizing computer centers is feasible because we use retired donated computers, freeware and public domain software. This strategy is logical because of all of the programs the computer centers can be us for.”

He issued a press release that details conditions, strategies and goals of the program. The officer urged anyone wanting more information or to volunteer should call him (281-827-8332) or go to his website: 713ministries.org. Anderson founded the ministry with his wife, Audra, with the goal “To Hope, show Love and offer Faith.?”

The Villa Americana Safe Haven Computer Centers will be utilized for the following:

After-School Safe Haven Computer Center. Kids (Pre-K – high school) participating in the Villa Americana after school program will use the computers for their homework, tutoring, surfing the Internet or playing video games. The computers have 200-plus video games and 300 education-related programs installed on them.

Read by Five Initiatives in Computer Centers.  The computers also contain a Pre-K Curriculum, 100-plus beginning reading and first through sixth grade books (PDF), phonemic awareness videos, sight words and much more. These programs can be used by residents and volunteers to teach kids how to read, write and count. Statistics show that 90 percent of kids who can read by first grade will continue to perform at grade level throughout their school age-years. Over 90 percent of eighth grade black males in Houston can’t read at grade level; those numbers are similar among black females and Hispanic children.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Computer Center. The Pre-K curriculum and other programs design for teaching reading, writing and counting can be used for ESL. The computers contain a Pre-K Curriculum, 100-plus Beginning Reading