‘You Have Got to Be Kidding Me’: Sac Housing Agency Blasted over Offensive Flyer

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SACRAMENTO --

Imagine being unemployed and coming home to find info about a jobs program posted to your front door.

It happened to Renita Williams, but she says that supposed help from the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency was laced with insults.

What went through her mind first?

"You have got to be kidding me," she said.

But to Williams there was nothing funny about what she found posted on her door at the Alder Grove complex, so she took to Facebook immediately...reading the flyer.

"The girl says today was my fourth interview and I still ain't got hired nowhere."

Then she says, "really 'cause that's just how black women talk?"

The SHRA flyer featured a black woman in a low-cut blouse, stymied in her job search.

"We may be poor but we're not stupid. I...I have a lot of peers that are sitting on college degrees and I have my certificates of completion in administration of justice and police services. I'm double majoring in college. We all have our different circumstances that landed us in low-income housing. You can't group us all together," Williams said.

Six weeks after being slammed by what she sees as inaccurate stereotypes, Williams took the matter to city council at her sister's urging.

"If we don't speak out, the ignorance is going to stay alive," said Williams' sister, Robernique Williams-Rose.

As a housing manager herself who oversees SHRA properties, Williams-Rose says she's unfortunately not surprised the agency could be so short-sighted because of what she's dealt with.

"They're lack of caring for lack of better words," she pointed out. "Their lack of getting to know their clients."

So far the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, which is led by La Shelle Dozier - a black woman -has offered a written statement about this situation, reading in part, "We couldn't have been more wrong in our approach to communicate our message."

City council members Larry Carr and Angeligue Ashby have promised to investigate how the flyer was produced.

"If you generalize us and put us in one little...one little category, that's how we're going to perceive ourselves and you can't grow that way," said Williams.

Despite her feelings about the flyer, Williams says she actually did go to that jobs program advertised back February and is still waiting for a call back.

She has a meeting with SHRA tomorrow to discuss all of her concerns.

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