For Immediate Release
United Way of Greater Greensboro
Pilot Family Success Center For Neighborhoods in 27406
(Greensboro, NC – March 9, 2015) — United Way of Greater Greensboro, with its lead partner Guilford Child Development, is driving the effort to implement Greensboro’s first Family Success Center to provide solutions that reduce poverty in Greensboro neighborhoods.
“Job placement and achieving family financial stability for low income families, the major objectives of the Family Success Center, may represent the two most difficult challenges in the field of health and human services,” says Robin Britt, Executive Director of Guilford Child Development. “Our goal is to achieve ‘systems change’ by collaborating with a broad array of agencies to align services, by removing barriers, and by empowering families to make progress toward self sufficiency.”
The Family Success Center pilot follows United Way of Greater Greensboro’s announcement that it will focus its work on breaking the cycle of poverty for the next decade and more. Guilford Child Development was chosen as the lead partner for Family Success Center for its expertise in helping children and families reach their full potential. Guilford Child Development operates Head Start programs that serve children ages zero to five and enhance early child development while assisting families create the strong educational foundation necessary to be successful in school and in life. By federal definition Head Start participants fall at or under 100% of the family federal poverty line ($24,250 for a family of four). Greensboro currently struggles with a 20% poverty rate, a number that has seen steady increase since 2008.
“Greensboro has great human service organizations currently addressing issues related to poverty,” says Michelle Gethers-Clark, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro. “Our intention is to create a new system of collaboration between nonprofit, government and businesses that works together to provide solutions for all members of a family. The system will deliver wrap around services that embrace new ideas for/from clients and implement known human service techniques that work. Members of the neighborhood pilot will be accountable for their success that leads to financial independence. When people feel successful, the community is successful.”
The Family Success Center will begin as an 18-month pilot in zip code 27406 that will offer integrated, place-based services to help meet the needs of the entire family with the goal that each family enters the path toward self-sufficiency. The new system views the family as a unit and plans to serve every member of the household. The primary features of the system include family engagement, client input, testing and learning, and increasing flexible access to services. The ultimate goals are to increase per capita income for low-income neighborhoods, improve community health, and enhance school readiness (which will help ensure children graduate from high school). During the next 36 months, United Way of Greater Greensboro will lead the development of Family Success Centers in at least three other zip codes in Greensboro.
Families currently enrolled in Guilford Child Development programs in zip code 27406 are being given the opportunity to opt-in to the pilot. Up to 100 families will work through the 18-month pilot to develop their own self-sufficiency plan which will be supported through workshops, trainings, and individual coaching sessions.
“Integrated servicing is not a new concept, but it’s new to Greensboro in this form,” says Frank McCain, vice president of community investment and impact at United Way of Greater Greensboro. “After benchmarking similar programs from San Francisco to Chicago and even neighboring Winston-Salem, we know this type of deep collaboration is a monumental change to how we have previously addressed poverty in Greensboro; a change in the right direction.”
The Family Success Center will officially kick-off on Thursday, March 26 where more than a dozen additional community partners will be announced.
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United Way of Greater Greensboro makes investments in our community to serve those in need so that all individuals and families can succeed. United Way is a worldwide network in 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. To give, advocate and volunteer, visit www.UnitedWayGSO.org.