NOAH - Neighbors Organized for Adequate Housing
July 2009 · Issue XVI



Gadson FairThe man called Noah used an Ark to help the faithful survive an earth-cleansing flood. The agency called NOAH is using a SHIP to help working families in the Glades survive a flood of dismal economic conditions: job losses, closed businesses, foreclosures and bank failures.

NOAH provides opportunity even in difficult times. NOAH invited residents of the Glades to an April 25 Homebuyers Fair to convince working family members that not only can they survive the flood, but they can also thrive in new homes.

There are 10 single-family home lots in the Raderville section of Belle Glade that are ready to be built and NOAH is reaching out to help residents with enticements including the State Housing Initiative Program (SHIP).

Gadson FairThe fair was organized to help families take advantage of opportunities to get financial assistance to buy the homes. SHIP provides assistance to very low, low and moderate income applicants who are first-time home buyers. The Raderville homes are valued from $167,000 to $197,000.

The money available to help the residents move into the homes ranges from $30,000 to about $75,000 and in some cases, could go up to $150,000, said Wanda Gadson, a consultant helping NOAH get families into the homes. Most of the clients for such programs are single mothers. Read more »



Berry and Baldwin TeamA dozen golfers came out to the Sugar Cane Golf Club in Belle Glade on May 30 to pioneer a new tradition that will help NOAH increase its profile throughout South Florida.

NOAH’s inaugural Golf Classic seemed to have nature’s blessing with golfers enjoying a beautiful day. A light rain fell as the last player finished on the 18th hole and heavier rain waited until everyone had moved safely inside for a catered awards luncheon that received raves for its food.

Winning TeamWinning team members Andre Russell, Elvis Harvey and Roy Collins each won a $50 gift certificate to The Cheesecake Factory among other prizes.

Second PlaceSecond place team members — Bruce Alexander, T.L. Wingate and Anthony Jones — each earned $25 gift certificates to Red Lobster.

Third Place



The third place team of Kevin Dennehy, David Carpenter, Mike Docsh and Tom Baker won trophies and other prizes.

The tournament was the idea of avid golfer Anthony Jones who, as the chairperson of the planning and development committee on NOAH’s board, seeks ways to help the agency raise money. Most of the golfers were there at the personal invitation of Jones. Click Here to Read more and to see the video! »

Integrity, Accountability, Transparency


Bruce HalsteadAt the June 2008 annual presidential retreat in Delray Beach, NOAH said goodbye to longtime fiscal director William Fuller and assistant Elizabeth Kelly and wished them well in their retirement. It was a positive parting, but a huge void was left in the financial office.

At this summer’s retreat, NOAH introduced the man who stepped in the fill the void. In his introductory remarks, new Chief Financial Officer Bruce A. Halstead was reminiscent of the nation’s recent historic presidential election campaign with his repetition of key concepts: "Integrity, accountability and transparency."

Halstead is a certified public accountant licensed to work in New York, New Jersey and Florida and has nearly two decades of relevant experience. He has been in Florida for the past two years and specializes in non profit organizations.

"We want to make sure as a company we are always kept in the best light financially and that our structure is sound so that we can stand even while others may crumble," Halstead said. "If I’m a funder, I want to feel comfortable about where I put my money.

"Our integrity, accountability and, more importantly, transparency is of the utmost."

Halstead said he found NOAH through Palm Beach County’s Black Chamber of Commerce, but felt like he was led to the organization by God. He is a minister in seminary at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, and a member of Christ Evangelical Baptist Church in West Palm Beach.  

As a student of the Bible, he frequently read the verse Genesis Chapter 8 which begins: "And God remembered NOAH ..." So when he learned the name of the organization that needed an accountant and learned about the services NOAH provided for the community, "I knew that was a fit," he said.

Tonia WareAnother new key staff member who was introduced at NOAH’s annual retreat was Tonia Ware, a supervisor for family support workers in the Healthy Families program. She found NOAH through a workforce agency and previously worked at a juvenile facility for about 11 years.

Other news from the retreat: NOAH’s leaders were clear that the organization is prepared to deal with the global economic recession that is forcing businesses and organizations to shut down.

"As everyone knows, this is a very interesting time in the world economy and social stratus," Executive Director Thomas Roberts said. "It has affected everyone. It has even affected NOAH — to some extent — we are still going on and doing what we need to do to serve our community and continue to make it strong."

Board president Edna McClendon said the organization is properly postured for the downturn.

"These are very lean times, where money is not so available," she said. "We would love to have more but we don’t. But some time ago, this very board took some training in doing more with less and we have worked that plan."



Childrens DayMay 5 brought the opportunity for NOAH to celebrate Mexican Independence with a colorful Cinco De Mayo festival for the pre-K children and the 2- and 2 1/2-year-old classes.

The children were adorned in hand-crafted flower hats while they participated in activities and games such as the Chile Hot Cha Cha, duck-n-pond, sack race, may pole, parachute play, put a button on the flower, kite flying, pin the tail on the kite and face painting.

Easter Egg HuntBut the May Day Fiesta was not NOAH’s only major spring celebration. On April 3, 16 NOAH parents volunteered to help make the 14th Annual "Children's Day Picnic" at Rardin Park in Pahokee a success. On April 9, a number of parents donated treats for children to share with classmates as part of the Easter Egg Hunt and related activities. Mothers were honored on May 8 with a Mother's Day Luncheon.

Staff AppreciationStaff was not forgotten either. On May 8, Fortin Center Director Matilda Edwards invited members to breakfast for "Staff Appreciation Week." On May 1, the center continued its tradition of recognizing staff member birthdays.

Staff Appreciation


Celebrating birthdays in April and June were Ms. Lolo, Ms. Rodriguez and Ms. Pettway.Birthdays