Please Donate!

PHAR needs to raise $5,000 by the end of the year to make sure our programs continue.

Your gift will help us to leverage funding provided by local and regional foundations, and empower those who are often overlooked by policymakers.

Please consider a making a tax-deductible contribution to PHAR by sending a check today to: PHAR, 1000 Preston Ave., Suite C, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Thank you for your commitment to empowering Charlottesville public housing residents and their families!

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PHAR is Making Change Happen

The energy and dedication of our resident board members and volunteers, combined with the strong support of partner organizations like Legal Aid, the Virginia Organizing Project, ENPHRONT and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, have enabled PHAR to become a nationally recognized model of grassroots organizing and resident empowerment.

PHAR is the training ground for new leaders who are becoming empowered to organize with our neighbors to make positive change happen where we live and work. PHAR believes that, given the opportunity, people are capable of obtaining skills to acquire self-worth, self-confidence and self-sufficiency, with the ultimate goal of self-empowerment.


P — Perseverance — Able to withstand change; acknowledge the need to move forward; able to turn adversity into positive outcomes.

H — Honesty — Stand up and organize around issues that represent truth and justice; able to not only do things right but to do the right thing.

A — Action — Able to plan, strategize and turn ideas into programs and policies; a working organization that can get results.

R — Resourcefulness — PHAR has been able to grow, despite minimal resources, because it is rooted in a foundation whose primary interest is the lives of all public housing and Section 8 residents.


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Who Does PHAR Serve?

To date, PHAR’s primary focus has been to serve the interests of public housing and Section 8 residents. There are 376 units of public housing in the city of Charlottesville, encompassing approximately 900 individuals. According to data from the local housing authority, 75% of these households earn less than $13,000 — i.e., less than 1/4 of the median income of the area. Approximately 79% of heads of households are female. Approximately 82% of heads of households are African-American, 17% are white, with 2% being with Asian or Latino. Close to 300 residents have Section 8 Vouchers in Charlottesville.

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“The Projects”

Remarks by Riverside resident Sherrie Clark, upon graduation from the 2007 PHAR Resident Intern Leadership Program — 6/24/07

I first would like to give honor and glory to God, and give thanks to my kids, who have supported, encouraged and put up with me during my comings and goings. I was remembering when I was a little girl, going over to my cousin’s house, who had lived in “the projects” (as they are called) and the kids in school thinking and saying that people who live in the projects were poor and don’t want anything out of life but to take the free ride of being in the projects.

Well, today I stand proud and humble to be here celebrating the accomplishment of completing the internship program with PHAR (Public Housing Association of Residents). I stand to address the cliché about the projects known as Public Housing. I hear a lot of people saying, “I can’t go in the project or you need to get out of the projects.” When I think about our busy society, people on the move are always people planning and they have a project in mind. So you see today, where I come from a project is good, as well as being a community and a home for where I live.

I have always believed that “home is where your heart is.” So, as I say from my heart what the projects mean to me, I hope that today you will understand how important the projects and the people can be. The projects to me represent:

R- Reaching for their goals
O- Outreach organizers
J- Joining together
E- Exalting their communities
C- Caring for their families
T- Talented and gifted
S- Standing for dignity

So as I stand here, as a resident of public housing, I say to you: the next time you meet someone, never judge them by where they come from or where they live. Thank you.

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