Ben Carson, the head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, finally knows why God willed him to lead the agency, a year after he took up office. The neurosurgeon has revealed that a passage in the Bible helped him hatch a program to help low-income American families.
The Christian conservative explained to CBN that a verse in Proverbs inspired him to set up EnVision Centers to teach and strengthen economic self-sufficiency in households. Carson realized that if Americans keep relying on government assistance, they would not be equipped to grab better opportunities to improve their life.
"We have to provide a mechanism whereby they can climb the ladder of opportunity," Carson said, and referred to Proverbs 29:18 that states, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
The HUD secretary added, "I look around and see a lot of people who just are not thriving."
Launched in December, EnVision Centers has 10 pilot programs across the United States. The HUD has partnered with different government agencies, private companies, non-profits and faith-based groups that make up the hubs that will help Americans in areas like education, character and leadership, health and wellness, and economic empowerment.
"EnVision Centers are designed to help people take the first few steps towards self-sufficiency," Carson stated. "Every household we are able to help graduate from HUD-assistance allows HUD to help one more family in need."
Critics of Carson's program, however, say that his leadership at the HUD is anti-poor. Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition told Chicago Defender that some of the requirements to qualify for the department's programs were not beneficial to low-income families. She also believes that the program does not guarantee better opportunities for the poor.
Carson also reportedly blocked a ruling set during President Barack Obama's term that would give access to Fair Housing to low-income families. The rule was supposed to take effect in January in 23 cities in America.
Meanwhile, Carson was officially sworn in as the Housing and Urban Development secretary by Vice President Mike Pence on March 2.