4. Child & Family Stability
What the task force had in mind: The task force recommended strategies to encourage two parent families and economic advancement, as well as family planning in order to provide a stable environment for their children. This also includes minimizing the disruption of children who move from school-to-school due to housing affordability issues.
What are we doing to address: While this focus area, pertaining to committed two-parent families, young adults having the necessary information on reproduction, and improve birth outcomes is low on our radar, we have assisted many families to embark on, and maintain a path to earning a living wage coupled with income and asset building.
Strategies that LHCC have deployed include:
- Providing information on job openings and how to apply for available jobs in close proximity to where they reside
- Providing financial literacy training and mentoring for adults who have never had a budget, emergency fund or managed their living expenses
- Taking residents to job fairs
- Teaching children about the value of money, saving, spending and giving, during our summer camp program curriculums
- Teaching and guiding parents about the implications of moving to an area where schools, crime and access to resources is not as favorable
One or more stories demonstrating positive results in this area: Our rising 8th grader and his parents resided in an apartment complex for many years until they were able to gain independence and acquire their own house. Having considered a number of factors and suggestions, they moved to an area relatively close by that had no adverse impact on their son’s middle school or the fathers commute to work. During this time, we saw the parents acquire a new and affordable small vehicle, and seek assistance from mortgage companies and banks. They also sought our assistance in remedying their unsatisfactory credit record in order to secure a lower interest mortgage. Another single mom and her son moved to an equally affordable apartment community, just a mile from a high-school that is rated much higher than the school he was previously zoned for and attended for the first 18 months of this high school career.
However, and as expected, there have been families who were once in our program that had moved their families to more diverse neighborhoods with low performing schools and into communities with high levels of crime, in search of cheaper housing. Unfortunately, their children have suffered the consequences in this poorly constructed strategy. High-school students have become depressed, turned to drugs, attempted suicide, dropped out of school and placed an added burden on their families and siblings seeking the stability they once enjoyed when they were in our apartment-based program.
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