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End Child Poverty Plan: The Power of Promise Neighborhoods

End Child Poverty in California/GRACE visit to Mission Promise Neighborhood/MEDA in San Francisco, 2019

The End Child Poverty Plan offers California a groundbreaking path to end deep child poverty for 450,000 kids and cut overall child poverty in half. Expanding California’s successful Promise Neighborhoods network is a key part of the plan.

What’s a Promise Neighborhood?

Promise Neighborhoods are powerful, family-centered networks rooted in communities. They use the power of collective impact–many programs and services working together–to support families in neighborhoods facing intense economic pressures. Promise Neighborhoods create easy entry points for services and break down red tape. They work to improve kids’ lives “from cradle to college to career,” focusing on the whole child, the whole family, and the whole community.

Promise Neighborhoods are:

  • Results driven
  • Place based (located in one specific geographic area, allowing for community strength)
  • Community powered
  • Equity focused

California currently has five Promise Neighborhoods (including our End Child Poverty in California partners Hayward Promise, Mission Promise, and YPI), and more are needed. This year Senator Ben Allen (D-Los Angeles) introduced Senate Bill 686, the California Promise Neighborhoods Act of 2019, that would expand this successful, community-centered model to more neighborhoods.

Find out more:

  1. Click here to find out more about SB 686.
  2. See a map of all Promise Neighborhoods from the California Promise Network.
  3. Read about the incredible impact of one Promise Neighborhood in the blog post below by our partners at the Mission Promise Neighborhood and MEDA (Mission Economic Development Agency) in San Francisco.

2019: THE MISSION AND BEYOND, FOR ALL CALIFORNIA KIDS

Photo from MEDA blog. Read the full, original blog post here

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Our numbers [at Mission Promise Neighborhood] spoke for themselves. Over the six-plus years of our initiative, we used a shared case-management tool to connect 2,744 families with 5,590 different program referrals, ranging from housing and tenants’ rights to job readiness and health care. We were a collaborative of 20 community organizations, aligning our efforts to provide wraparound services to our students and families to work toward common goals. We broke through silos and shared data along the way. Together, we held ourselves accountable to turning the curve on community indicators.

MPN saw the following outcomes in our schools and with our partners:

  • Latino graduation rates increased from 63 percent to 88 percent
  • African American graduation rates increased from 46 percent to 93 percent
  • Ninety-four percent of elementary school families feel a sense belonging at their schools
  • Rate at which students change schools mid-year decreased from 13.9 percent to 7.9 percent
  • Eighty percent of all Latino 4-year olds in the Mission are now enrolled in preschool
  • Social emotional development scores for 3-year-olds jumped from 24 percent to 82 percent

These outcomes are even more impressive when you take into account the extreme pressures our families are experiencing: unprecedented levels of housing displacement, growing income inequality, all coupled with a national political climate translating to an assault on our community. Our collective work of providing families with coordinated access to mental health services, legal representation, asset building, housing services and more has helped MPN stabilize the Mission by using schools and affordable housing as community anchors.

The U.S. Department of Education grant is an affirmation of the work our partners have done. Our second iteration of MPN is focused on aligning with the City of San Francisco and its School District’s Beacon Initiative, expanding from four to nine schools in the Mission District, increasing our presence at early learning centers, developing parent leaders and reaching out to Family Child Care providers to give their families access to our network of supports. We estimate that we will now be serving approximately 8,000 children and their families in the Mission. With our collective-impact approach, MPN is on pace to have the scale of the solution match the scale of the challenge.

Joining with other Promise Neighborhoods
Other Promise Neighborhoods across the state have seen similar outcomes. Together, the five Promise Neighborhoods in California created a network called CPNN.  The results from the CPNN network, informed the development of a statewide plan to end child poverty. This plan includes a recommendation for the investment by the State of California into a total of 20 Promise Neighborhoods at $5 million per neighborhood, complemented by increased spending on child care, CalWORKS and much more. The plan estimates that the combination of these factors will result in benefits to state and local governments of more than $12 billion annually.

The plan lays out the seven unique characteristics of Promise Neighborhoods:

  1. Cradle-to-college-to-career continuum to move families out of poverty
  2. Place-based to focus on high-need geographies
  3. Collective impact: collaborate with partners to provide solutions at scale
  4. Align funding streams to achieve shared outcomes
  5. Results-driven, with a focus on population-level results
  6. Equity-focused and explicit in addressing disparities
  7. Community powered to address local needs and build on local strengths

Data sharing, collaboration, accountable to results, good for the economy: Promise Neighborhoods are the embodiment of what we call “good government.” MEDA will be calling for these pilot initiatives to move beyond being simply boutique operations and for them to become the normal way that government delivers services….

One community is not waiting for the State to approve funding for Promise Neighborhoods; instead, it is taking the lead in using its current budget to create Promise Neighborhoods. San Diego County has approved $4 million for a pilot Promise Neighborhood based on the success of its existing Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood. If the pilot is also successful, the plan is to create even more Promise Neighborhoods throughout that county.

Closer to home — and based on  the success of San Francisco’s Promise Neighborhood in the Mission District — we believe it’s time for the City and County of San Francisco to begin asking itself if other neighborhoods in the City would benefit from a Promise Neighborhood, particularly during this time of widening income inequality and displacement of working-class families and people of color.

From School Board to Mayor, State Superintendent of Schools to Governor, all the way to the House of Representatives, we are seeing inspiring new leaders take the reins of government. As they highlight the need for a more just society, now is the time for bold equity initiatives based on proven models. Perhaps 2020 will put us on pace to end child poverty.

After all, much can happen in a year!

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Read more about the End Child Poverty Plan strategies here. Join in by signing on to the campaign for updates.


PETITION TO OUR LEADERS: Make Ending Child Poverty a 2019 Priority

We have to make sure our California leaders know that for 2 million kids, ending child poverty can’t wait.

We’re at a key juncture as Governor Gavin Newsom revises his proposed California budget and legislators fight for their bills. SIGN ON to tell our elected leaders that the End Child Poverty Plan should be a key priority in 2019.

  • It’s comprehensive and achievable.
  • It invests in families and communities.
  • It will END extreme poverty in California for 450,000 kids.

Let’s do this! The End Child Poverty Plan letter has already been signed by over 60 esteemed California organizations. Seventeen pieces of legislation supporting the plan have already been introduced and the list is growing. We have to keep the momentum going so Governor Newsom and California State Legislators know this movement is only growing. Click to sign on:

Read the full letter below and click here for the press release. Help amplify the movement by sharing on social media:

    

Dear Governor Newsom and Budget Leaders of the California State Legislature:

We are writing as a broad coalition of Californians to ask that you urgently and immediately take actions to end deep childhood poverty and substantially reduce overall child and family poverty in California by implementing the End Child Poverty Plan.

One in five children in California live in poverty. We are the 5th largest economy in the world with the highest percentage and largest number of children living in poverty of any state in the nation. This is a human and a fiscal crisis that we have the ability to solve.

According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the toxic stress of extreme poverty has a life-long negative impact on a child’s brain development. The same research indicates that the impact can be reversed by making the proven investments recommended by California’s Child Poverty Task Force that reduce or eliminate the need for more costly remediation in the future.

The Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan is comprehensive, research-based, and community-informed. When fully implemented, the plan will end deep poverty for the 450,000 children in California living under 50% of the federal poverty line within four years and substantially reduce California’s highest-in-the-nation level of overall child and family poverty.

As children’s advocates, non-profits, religious leaders, business organizations, and concerned individuals we urge that the comprehensive End Child Poverty Plan be acted on immediately.

Reducing child and family poverty by 50% will also have a net positive impact on state and local government budgets of an estimated minimum of $12 billion annually in reduced remedial health, social service and educational expenditures and increased tax revenues.

The Governor’s proposed budget is an excellent starting point to begin reducing childhood poverty, especially for children living in deep poverty. The California Legislature can take the important step to eliminate deep poverty among families with children in the short term and to reduce overall childhood poverty by fifty percent by 2023 by adopting the Task Force’s science-based budget proposals. They include:

Primary Investments

  • Increase grants in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program to bring families up above deep poverty as proposed in the Budget Act of 2018.
  • Increase and expand access to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Adopt a Targeted Child Tax Credit (TCTC) that would put money back in the pocket of families and put it to work in the economy. This proposal also serves to provide a rental subsidy for families living in deep poverty or experiencing homelessness. Research conducted by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality shows that cash or near cash subsidies have a long-term positive impact on reducing childhood poverty and increasing the overall economic health of a community. The TCTC alone, when fully implemented will eliminate deep child poverty within four years.

Foundational Investments

  • Guarantee access to early care and education for children 0–8 years of age who are living in poverty in order to support child early development and families’ employment, education, health and upward mobility.
  • Expand voluntary home visiting programs to support pregnant women and families with young children.
  • Add 20 state-funded Promise Neighborhoods offering coordinated, community-driven support services.
  • Secure Healthcare for All Californians.
  • Fully fund transitional housing programs and supports for foster care youth up to the age of 21.

We urge these investments for the children of California today, to support the California Dream for each of our children.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Also signed and supported by:

GRACE

Children Now

Children’s Defense Fund

County Welfare Directors Association of California

First 5 CA

First 5 Los Angeles

Fresno EOC Street Saints

Home Start, Inc.

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Youth Policy Institute

The Actors Gang

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Alliance for Children’s Rights

American Academy of Pediatrics

Barrio Logan College Institute

California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)

California Association of Food Banks

California Catholic Conference

California Emerging Technology Fund

California Interfaith Coalition

CalEITC4ME

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County

Child Care Law Center

Child Care Resource Center

Children’s Advocacy Institute

Children’s Institute

Children’s Network of Solano County

Clinica Romero

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Cradle to Career Fresno County

First 5 Alameda

First 5 Association of CA

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County

Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Friends Committee on Legislation of California

Good Samaritan

Jamestown Community Center (The)

Jewish Center for Justice

John Burton Advocates for Youth

JPAC – Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California

Lutheran Office of Public Policy- CA

Marin Promise Neighborhoods

Maryvale

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Mission Graduates

National Association of Social Workers

National Center for Youth Law

National Council for Jewish Women

National Foster Youth Institute

Parent Voices

Pathways LA

Policy Link

Rise Together Bay Area

SALEF (Salvadorian American Leadership and Educational Fund)

Shields for Families

South Bay Community Services

United Way Bay Area

United Way California

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

 

cc: Members of the California State Legislature


Giving Tuesday California Anti-poverty Give Guide

The holidays are a time of joy and gratitude, but they also come with challenges. You can make a meaningful difference for kids in California this Giving Tuesday with donations to our partners doing amazing work in local communities to help kids and families overcome adversity and thrive. Use this season to make a big difference for vulnerable Californians!

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County: Meeting people of all backgrounds and faiths where they are with a holistic approach to care-taking is critical for our partner Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. (And they serve over 38,000 people each year!) Your holiday season donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. Click here to find out more.

 

Catholic Charities San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo: Donate or volunteer your time this holiday season in the Bay Area! Visit the Catholic Charities San Francisco site to find out about their extensive children and youth services, their homelessness and housing programs, and how they are transforming lives for children, families, and individuals. The first $15,000 in donations on Giving Tuesday will be matched.

 

Children’s Defense Fund of California: The Beat the Odds Scholarship program raises money for promising teens who have overcome amazing odds. The Children’s Defense Fund of California highlights their incredible stories to inspire us to change the odds for all kids. Find out more and donate directly to the scholarship fund here.

 

Common Sense Kids Action: State- and national-level advocacy on behalf of kids is crucial so that all kids 0-5 have access to vital education and health resources, positive digital media experiences, and the opportunity to succeed through reducing child poverty. Common Sense’s advocacy platform is building a movement dedicated to making kids our nation’s top priority. Donate by clicking here.

 

LA Conservation Corps: The LA corps has an ingenious way to give–choose practical items on Amazon that will go directly to youth in their job-training program that helps transform 500 lives each year. Nothing beats poverty better than a good job. Click here to shop, and click here find out more about LA Conservation Corps.

 

National Foster Youth Institute: Changing outcomes for foster youth will only happen when youth voices are amplified. Started in California, the National Youth Foster Institute is committed to transforming the child welfare system into a beacon of hope. Every dollar donated on November 28 from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. EST will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Find out more here, and donate here.

 

Para los Niños / For the Children: Founded on Skid Row in 1980, Para Los Niños raises children out of poverty and supports their future through positive educational opportunities and wrap-around support in Los Angeles. All through November and December, 10% of proceeds from Lucky Brand gift card purchases go to Para los Niños. Click here to find out more.

 

SHIELDS for Families: Want to double your impact? SHIELDS for Families has a challenge grant from the Good Hope Medical Foundation: check it out and donate here. SHIELDS thinks outside the box to provide an innovative, integrated model of holistic services reaching 10,000 at-risk families every year… and saving LA County money along the way.

 

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center: St. John’s is asking us to commit to health care for all on Giving Tuesday. Read President and CEO Jim Mangia’s op-ed in the Huffington Post here. Donate to St. John’s and the work they are doing nationally and locally–serving families, children, and individuals in need by providing comprehensive health care–here.

 

Youth Policy Institute: Help Youth Policy Institute combat intergenerational poverty one family at a time through after-school and summer programs and high-quality early education in Los Angeles. Youth Policy Institute has served over 112,000 youth and adults at 138 program sites. Giving is as easy as sending a text.


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