From the CEO
Back to School: An Intersection of Housing and Hunger
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
Across the United States, more than 55 million children will attend school this year – many of them returning to classes this month after a long summer. Tragically, more than 21 million of them can’t afford their own lunches and rely on the National School Lunch Program to avoid hunger. Many of the children we serve at National CORE fall into this category – a vivid reminder of just how daunting the challenges are for so many families. Sadly, too, a school lunch represents the only healthy meal countless children get during the course of a day. It’s one more reason affordable housing is so important in addressing the economic gap that exists in our country. The more families are forced to pay for rent, the less they have for life’s other essentials – clothing, medical care and, yes, food. In California, according to one study, 70 percent of poor families spend the majority of their paychecks on housing. They can’t afford even basic shelter, and it’s their kids – our future – who suffer the most. Fortunately, National CORE and Hope through Housing work to help families meet their basic needs while empowering youth to harness the full potential of their future. Read below for more on how we help prepare students for success.
One San Pedro Collaborative Comes Out of Top for Major Revitalization Project
Empowering Youth through After-School Enrichment
National CORE started Hope through Housing more than 20 years ago as a way to provide life-changing social services to our residents. An early and lasting success has been our After School & Beyond program, which provides students a safe, nurturing, distraction-free environment during those critical hours after school. For single-parents and dual-income households, making sure kids have a safe haven is incredibly important. A survey of our after-school parents found that 83 percent were able to keep their jobs as a result of the program. And among our kids, 94 percent said they do a better job of completing their homework at After School & Beyond than at home. We thank our staff, our service providers and our funding partners for making this possible.
(Above photo: Our Montclair after-school program)
A College Dream Fulfilled at San Antonio Vista
Precious Huerta has lived at San Antonio Vista with her parents and two younger brothers for more than five years. Her parents have always encouraged education so that she and her siblings could have better lives. Precious knows her family struggles financially, so she wasn’t sure if she would be able to attend college. That uncertainty changed after attending an event at San Antonio Vista where she learned about a scholarship opportunity offered by the California Community Reinvestment Corporation for low-income students who live in affordable housing communities. Precious applied for and received the scholarship, which will provide her with $2,000 per year toward college classes. This fall she will become a freshman in the Child Development Program at Mt. San Antonio College. “I’ve always loved kids,” said Precious. I’d like to have a career as a preschool teacher.” Precious is not only fulfilling her own dream. She has fulfilled the dream of her parents and has set an example for her younger brothers of what is possible.
Local Leaders Hit the Runway to Support School Success
Steve PonTell (center), National CORE president and CEO, was a featured speaker at the BizFed Institute 88 Cities Summit that took place in Los Angeles. He addressed the challenges of building affordable housing and encouraged the audience to humanize the issue of homelessness.
Don’t Miss the Upcoming Evening of Hope!
Come dream with National CORE and Hope through Housing on Thursday, Oct. 4 as we celebrate An Evening of Hope: A Million Dreams. The annual gala, which will take place at the Ontario Convention Center, will benefit the Hope through Housing Foundation. For sponsorship opportunities and other information, please visit www.NationalCOREGala.org.
Affordable Housing in the News
(Wall Street Journal)