Frazier bids farewell to Franklin

Published 7:52 am Friday, February 20, 2009

FRANKLIN—Friendships and the satisfaction of knowing others were positively impacted by her actions at the Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority are two of the things departing Executive Director Sheryl Frazier will take with her as she embarks on a new journey in Georgia.

“I’ve made some really good friends in Franklin, and I’m going to miss them,” said Frazier, who has spent the past four years leading the FRHA.

Frazier announced plans to leave the agency in January after being selected for an executive director post at the housing authority in Warner Robins, Ga.

Frazier, who has worked within the housing industry since 1998, said she came to Franklin with one goal in mind.

“I was committed to improving the lives of my housing residents,” she said. “I believe in empowering them by holding them accountable for themselves and accept the responsibility for their decisions.”

Frazier said that while she will leave Franklin with some regrets, she is especially proud of the Life Skills program she started.

In 2007, FRHA was awarded the Resident Opportunity Self Sufficient Grant that helped

Frazier implement the first Life Skills/Job Skills Program ever for the agency.

She was also able to hire a case manager to tackle problems beyond what the classes could provide.

The Life Skills Program aims to teach skills that bridge the gap between under- and unemployed residents’ current abilities and what they need to get better jobs and improve their lives.

Frazier said: “In order to help low-income families become self-sufficient, you must first provide them with the necessary skills to manage their lives and then train them for employment opportunities.”

With the Life Skills Program, the FRHA has been able to partner with other agencies and offer a personal care aid and pharmacy technician program.

To date, 71 participants have successfully completed the Life Skills Program and have gone on to gainful employment.

One such participant is Lillian Hicks who said she owes much to Frazier.

“Mrs. Frazier has truly been a blessing for me,” she said. “Before the life skills class, I wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t have much self-esteem and didn’t think I could do anything, much less get a job.”

Hicks said she would sit around her house all day and was depressed.

“After I took the Life Skills course, my life changed,” she said. “I have a job as a [certified nursing assistant]. I don’t sit around doing nothing all the time. Mrs. Frazier really helped us believe in ourselves,” said Hicks. “Now, my life is totally different. I believe God blessed her to help me and she has blessed us. We will truly miss her.”

Frazier said as she looks back over the past few years, she sees a change in the community and how FRHA is perceived in the eyes of Franklin residents.

“I believe FRHA is now sought after as an agency to partner with, an agency that brings about change and a positive influence in the lives of its residents. I would hope that perception continues after I’m gone,” said Frazier.

Frazier was commended for her service in a recent city council meeting by Mayor Jim Councill.

“Sheryl has certainly been a tremendous asset to us here in Franklin and we will miss her,” he said.

According to Frazier, members of the FHRA board are busy searching for her replacement. More 40 candidates applied for the position, which they hope to have filled within the next 30 days.