FORT WORTH, Texas – Fort Worth Housing Solutions has promoted a longtime, accomplished executive to be the agency’s deputy director and appointed a senior team member with a history of successful client and community engagement to direct the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
Sonya A. Barnette has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Deputy Director for Public Housing, Housing Operations and Client Services. She also will manage the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the agency and the City of Fort Worth in April 2020.
Barnette reports to FWHS President Mary-Margaret Lemons, who has led the agency since December 2017 and who served as its General Counsel from 2015 to 2017.
Barnette joined Fort Worth Housing Solutions in 1993 as a Resident Liaison Coordinator. She previously served as Vice President of Housing Operations and Client Services and was responsible for the oversight of public housing, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) site conversions, relocations, and multiple grant-funded programs, including Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), Continuum of Care, Directions Home, Health Community Collaborative, Single Room Occupancy (SRO), Family Self-Sufficiency/Homeownership Program and Resident Services.
During her tenure, Barnette has helped transform public housing through the RAD program, which added 1,625 affordable units to Fort Worth Housing Solutions’ portfolio. She also helped establish one of HUD’s first Family Investment Centers, a Neighborhood Network center and HUD’s first Texas EnVision Center at Fort Worth’s Martin Luther King Community Center on Truman Drive.
Prior to moving to Texas, Barnette served as an assistant director for Northeastern Family Institute and as a program manager for Communities for People, both in Massachusetts. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Suffolk University in Boston.
Lachelle Goodrich has been promoted to Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative Director. Goodrich joined FWHS in 2002, left to teach middle school history for three years, and returned to the agency in 2012.
In recent years, Goodrich has served as the agency’s Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency Services Coordinator and as coordinator for the EnVision Center. Her work has focused on connecting residents of the former Cavile Place public housing community in Southeast Fort Worth with community resources. She has helped more than 220 families find new homes as the neighborhood revitalization plan advances.
In her new role, Goodrich will ensure that former Cavile residents are supported throughout implementation of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood initiative and that those who wish to return to their neighborhood are able to do so. She reports to Ms. Barnette.
Goodrich earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from American Intercontinental University and a master’s degree in professional counseling from Amberton University. She also is a Licensed Professional Counselor with private practice serving children and families throughout Texas.
Lemons congratulated Barnette and Goodrich and said: “Fort Worth Housing Solutions and Fort Worth overall are fortunate to have talented, experienced leaders like Sonya Barnette and Lachelle Goodrich, both of whom are fully committed to ensuring that our clients and their families have safe, affordable homes and access to the services they need to fulfill their potential. We congratulate these two women on their promotions and look forward to the positive impact they will continue to have on Fort Worth.”
About Fort Worth Housing Solutions
Fort Worth Housing Solutions is changing the face of affordable housing by providing mixed-income rental and home ownership opportunities that provide the foundation to improve lives. The agency was established by the City of Fort Worth in 1938 to provide decent, safe housing for low- to moderate income people. Today, the agency operates 40 properties with almost 6,700 affordable units and manages about 6,000 federal vouchers that help families and individuals cover rental costs. Fort Worth Housing Solutions works closely with numerous partners to promote economic independence and positive change in the lives of the more than 25,600 individuals we touch on a daily basis. Learn more at www.fwhs.org.
About the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative
The Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative is an effort to transform a long-overlooked and historic neighborhood in Southeast Fort Worth into a vibrant, sustainable community with the attributes – education, healthcare, safety, services, and amenities – of a “neighborhood of choice.” A guiding community-driven Transformation Plan calls almost 1,000 new residential units developed in six phases of walkable, mixed-income developments and a community hub that provides central access to essential services, such as recreational outlets, early learning programs and job training programs, among others.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Fort Worth a $35 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant in April 2020 to seed the plan. HUD’s investment is anticipated to generate nearly $345 million in development and improvements for Stop Six.