Academic Success Sometimes As Simple As Staying Put

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

Through support of the Siemer Institute for Family Stability, United Way of the Midlands announced Friday it is awarding a three-year, $300,000 lead agency grant to Family Housing Advisory Services to reduce student mobility and promote their academic success by helping families become and remain financially stable.

The Siemer Institute for Family Stability (SIFS) awarded United Way with $150,000 over three years to support intensive case management services to families with at least one school-aged child that are at imminent risk of homelessness. United Way will provide the additional $150,000 in grant funding over the three-year “Family Support Project,” to provide the families with targeted short-term financial support for rent or mortgage assistance, transportation, utility bills and job training. Follow-up will last up to a year, to make sure the family has the tools and experience needed to succeed.

“We know many families are affected by the same interconnected issues, things like employment, training, money management, health and education," said Karen Bricklemyer, president and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. "With the generous Siemer Institute grant and the connection to other SIFS communities, we’ll be able to build on their strengths and share the solutions that our community identifies. Our goal is to help families make lasting changes in their lives that will strengthen the entire metro Omaha area for generations to come.”

In its inaugural year, the program is projected to serve 40 local families and 40 school-aged children with the expectation that 30 families will successfully remain in their homes during their participation in the program. At least 20 of the children are expected to remain stable in their original school during that time period. The Siemer Institute for Family Stability says when children remain in their school of origin, their chances for academic success increase.

Omaha is one of 31 cities so far to be selected for a SIFS grant as the Institute and its local partners establish a platform for preventing homelessness for families with school-aged children. SIFS focuses the program in neighborhoods and schools with high student mobility rates.

“These communities are embracing SIFS’ success at helping hardworking families stay in their homes and keeping their children in their schools,” said Rob Podlogar, national director for SIFS. “The institute is committed to sharing its framework for success. But even more important is the forum it provides for participating communities to share the approaches that work best to reduce student mobility and increase their families’ stability.”


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