Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Jay

Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Jay

Our next honoree in our Volunteer Spotlight Series is Jedediah “Jay” Baker. Jay is the President & Founder of Conduits of Change, a nonprofit organization that supports families to become self-sufficient and provides them with the necessary tools to navigate the waters of life. Jay has been our star when it comes to helping out with our community events. From supplying backpacks and school supplies for our Back to School Bash, to providing and serving meals around the holidays, Jay has gone above and beyond for our Jeremiah families.

How did you hear about Jeremiah Program?
A friend of mine, Ebonie, told me about Jeremiah Program. Our organization was looking for another place to bless those in need with backpacks and school supplies, for our annual Back-2-School Drive. So she called her friend and gave my number to the person in charge of that specific area. I got a call and we went from there.

How long have you been volunteering at Jeremiah Program?
Since 2017, so this is my second year.

What do you love most about volunteering at Jeremiah Program?
Being a part of bringing some joy into the lives of the moms and their children. I truly enjoy playing with the kiddos and seeing the hard work paying off that the moms put in.

Please share a favorite memory/funny story while volunteering.
At the Ice Cream Social, I really had a chance to interact with the families. Since I’m a jokester, I was really advertising the ice cream I was serving. And the moms and kiddos laughed at me all evening. Then some of the kiddos broke out in a dance contest! It was an awesome time!!

Please share a fun fact about you:

  1. I am a jokester and the life of the party!
  2. I went to the Grand Canyon in 2009, and can’t wait to get back there!
  3. I want to hike the Camino De Santiago

Thank you, Jay, for bringing so much joy to our Jeremiah families!

Key Findings from Jeremiah Program Non-Residential Student-Parent Support Expansion in Boston

Beverly – November 28, 2018 – A new study by the Program Evaluation & Research Group (PERG), funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, reports on adaptations and implications of the shift to a non-residential approach in Jeremiah Program Boston, an anti-poverty organization serving low-income college-going single mothers and their children.

Jeremiah Program, in partnership with Endicott College, began exploring expanding to Boston in 2013 in response to the growing number of college students who were single mothers. Jeremiah Program’s traditional residential campus includes family apartments, an early childhood education center, and site-based programming consisting of training, coaching, and wraparound supports. However, local real estate costs and other conditions made a non-residential version more feasible, while providing an opportunity to test a new method of service delivery. Jeremiah initially partnered with the leaders of Endicott Boston, a college campus in downtown Boston, to design a non-residential, or community-based, model where Jeremiah Program’s key services would be delivered in partnership with existing, reputable community organizations.

PERG’s study found that the non-residential Jeremiah Program Boston model, as implemented thus far, has key implications for the program and the participants that differ from Jeremiah’s traditional model:

  • The non-residential model can encompass a larger target population.
  • The new model works with families who are often living in challenging conditions, rather than providing a respite from them, as in the traditional model.
  • Transportation to Jeremiah activities can add additional effort and stress.
  • The new model requires new strategies to implement Jeremiah’s usual integrated two-generation approach.
  • Jeremiah’s goal of “safe and affordable” housing is not a high enough standard to ensure an appropriate living environment in a non-residential program.
  • Having a single, complementary educational partner (Endicott College) has provided additional stability, support, and community building opportunities.
  • Common barriers to participation are different in the two models – housing restrictions in the traditional model vs. added stress of travel and fewer incentives in the new model.
  • Some aspects of the non-residential model can start up more quickly, but it is more dependent on partnerships, which take time to build.
  • The new model is currently less expensive, but more elements still must be added.

The report also includes important lessons learned from the five-year partnership between Jeremiah and Endicott. The report is available to download at: Endicott Boston Study

About PERG
PERG at Endicott College was founded over 40 years ago at Lesley University. PERG (Program Evaluation & Research Group) is known for its capacity for studying complex projects in diverse settings, working primarily in formal and informal education environments. PERG has worked for universities, schools, foundations, state and federal agencies, museums and other community-based organizations. PERG’s recent areas of research, program evaluation, and product development include: parenting students in higher education; two-generation programs; arts integration and literacy partnerships; STEM programs and partnerships; curriculum and software development projects; cultural/international exchange; informal education; museum exhibits and programs; out -of-school time; professional development; research on learning in science. Learn more at www.endicott.edu/perg

About Jeremiah Program
Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for ending the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time. Two-Generational – or 2Gen – programs uniquely focus on the whole family and achieve long-term, sustainable results. The approach has been proven to achieve significant educational, health and economic benefits for parents, children and communities.

Jeremiah Program currently operates nationally in both residential programs with integrated early childhood services and non-residential programs where housing and early childhood education are provided through community partnerships and resources. The organization is on a consistent growth path with its newest programs in Rochester, Minn. and Brooklyn, N.Y. Jeremiah Program also has a presence in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minn. Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; and Fargo, N.D.-Moorhead, Minn.

Learn more at www.JeremiahProgram.org.

Follow Jeremiah Program on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Endicott Boston
Endicott College Boston is an academic center in downtown Boston that offers programs to an underserved population of adult learners, immigrant students, English Language Learners, and single parents. The program offers transition and pathway courses for college readiness, tutoring and writing support, and bilingual support. Endicott Boston is a part of Endicott College, a four-year, coeducational institution located in Beverly, MA, and the Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Endicott College. For more information, please visit vanloan.endicott.edu.

20/20 Vision 2Gen Summit Successful Event

Inspiring An Open Dialogue About 2Gen Solutions and How to Interrupt Generational Poverty

Commemorating 20 years of transforming families from poverty to prosperity, this one-day thought leadership Summit hosted by Jeremiah Program, featured national and local speakers, and inspired open dialogue and visionary thinking about 2Gen solutions reducing generational poverty. The Summit gathered 300 leaders, practitioners and experts in the fields of education, child and brain development, family relationships, business and economics and philanthropy, along with Jeremiah Program alumnae, staff and community leaders.

The goal of the 2Gen Summit:

  • Bring the best minds in the field together to elevate the conversation about the two-generation model
  • Highlight current opportunities for investment in moving single mothers and their children toward educational success and economic security.

The 2Gen Model

Two-generation programs uniquely focus on the whole family and achieve long-term, sustainable results. Two-generation models have been proven to achieve significant educational, health, and economic benefits for parents, children, and communities. Parents demonstrate improved postsecondary retention and graduation rates and increased employment, job stability, and emotional well-being. Children achieve outcomes such as better classroom behavior, improved attendance rates and grades, increased literacy, and improved social adjustment (Ascend at the Aspen Institute).

For the last two decades, Jeremiah Program has developed some of the most impactful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity, two generations at a time with limited government aid. A member of Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Jeremiah Program operates nationally in five states and prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance through empowerment, education and economic independence.

Why Supportive Housing Matters

Jeremiah Program is aiming to change the trajectory of single-mother families in the twin cities by providing five key program pillars designed to help families transform themselves from poverty to prosperity, two generations at a time. In our recent mailing you learned more about empowerment, Jeremiah’s 16-week pre-admissions course taken by single mothers. In this article we will highlight another pillar – safe and affordable housing.

One in four Minnesota households currently pay more than they can afford for housing, often forgoing other essentials like food or medicine in order to pay for housing costs. Homelessness is hard to track and often looks like couch hopping or staying with family members. Many of Minnesota’s homeless are children, who struggle with a myriad of issues related to homelessness: truancy, illness, increased exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences and more.

Many, though not all, Jeremiah families come from unreliable or unsafe housing situations. A few families come from shelters or have experienced long-term homelessness. All of the families at Jeremiah are living below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and regardless of their income, Jeremiah families only pay 30% of their income for rent on the Minneapolis and St. Paul Jeremiah campuses. This allows families the ability to afford food, clothing, daycare, books for school, and other necessities.

In conjunction with Jeremiah’s other pillars of support, providing housing to our families means they don’t need to worry about a safe place for their child to grow up or how to pay for their apartment. Moms can focus on their education and spending quality time with their children, and Jeremiah children, in turn, can have the childhoods they deserve.

You can help support safe and affordable housing for Jeremiah families. Please visit jeremiahprogra.wpengine.com/givemsp and make your gift today.

Minnesota Gives $11.7 Million to Build Rochester Campus of Jeremiah Program

The Rochester Campus has $1.7M Goal Remaining to Break Ground. See details at mnhousing.gov

Featured on Kare 11, Nov 1, 2018

ST. PAUL, MN – Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal joined community leaders today to announce funding to create and preserve more than 1,700 affordable homes throughout the state, including rental units and single family houses. The announcement outlined funding for 55 developments that support more than 3,600 jobs and will leverage additional private and local resources for more than $364 million in total development costs.

Each of the projects announced today was selected through a single common application process with funding from Minnesota Housing, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and the Metropolitan Council.

“We know that the smartest investment we can make in our state’s future is securing a foundation of strong communities and stable homes for all Minnesotans,” said Commissioner Tingerthal. “Since the beginning of the Dayton administration, we have touched every corner of our stateby investing $1.7 billion in more than 35,000 units of affordable housing. I’m proud of our work and the difference it has made for children, families, businesses and communities across Minnesota.”

One of the projects to be funded this year is the new Jeremiah Program site in Rochester, which willprovide 40 young families with a place to call home and give them successful strategies to transition from poverty to prosperity, two generations at a time. The announcement took place at the Saint Paul location of the Jeremiah Program where the program has demonstrated its success for more than 10 years.

Jeremiah Program graduate Brittany Block understands firsthand the impact the program can have. “When I came to the Jeremiah Program, they provided a safe space for me to work through my past trauma so I was able to be a present and attentive mother to my son,” said Block. “In the end, Jeremiah provided a path for me to create even bigger dreams – dreams I didn’t even know were possible.” Brittany graduated from Jeremiah Program in 2014 and now has a degree in Business Management from St. Mary’s University. She is co-manager of a salon, where she also leads marketing and social media. The projects selected today bolster Minnesota’s workforce and communities and meet our growing affordable housing needs by:

  • Providing more housing for workers: Nearly three-quarters of the projects announced today will fund the new construction of rental homes that will provide critical housing for workers and maintain economic competitiveness for employers. New housing will support businesses large and small in greater Minnesota communities like Baxter, Buffalo, Mankato, Rochester, Staples and St. Michaelas well as the Twin Cities Metro Area. In Scott County alone, where four new projects will be funded, the estimated population growth is more than 27,000 new households by the year 2040. Far more housing is required to meet the needs of employees at business like Amazon, Shutterfly and others across the region.
  • Investing in what works: We are investing in projects with models that have demonstrated success. Conifer Estates opened in 2012 in Bemidji, giving residents not only stable homes, but also access to life-skills training, money management, employment referrals, counseling, and crisis intervention. New funding announced today will expand this successful model and allow the project sponsors to break ground on Conifer Estates II, adding 32 townhomes with services for people experiencing behavioral health issues.
  • Creating more affordable housing in suburban areas: Many suburban communities understand that a mix of housing options is essential to a thriving community for all residents. This year, nine developments will create more than 500 new housing opportunities for families in suburban high opportunity areas, including new construction projects in areas like Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Inver Grove Heights,Vadnais Heights, Shakopee and Waconia.
  • Ending homelessness: We’re supporting the State Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness by investing in supportive housing – like Lydia Apartments in Minneapolis, which has served residents for more than 15 years and where units will be added so that more people experiencing homelessness can find a home and be connected with services. This year 22 of the new rental housing developments throughout the state will offer some units that provide supportive services.
  • Supporting homeownership: Funding awarded today will provide Habitat for Humanity chapters across the state with resources to support an estimated 87 homes and help additional housing partners to acquire, rehabilitate and construct high quality homes. Additional projects include those that will help tribal nations to increase homeownership among their members, help owners of dilapidated manufactured homes to replace them with high quality used homes, help seniors with critical home repairs that allow themto age in place and help young families put down roots in rural communities.

#BETTER MN: Under the Dayton Administration, Minnesota Housing has invested $1.7 billion to create or preserve more than 35,000 places to call home in every corner of the state using resources like those announced today.

“Too many families across Minnesota struggle to afford quality housing, forcing them to cut back on other essential needs like food, medicine, and education,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “This critical investment in affordable housing across our state will strengthen our local communities and Minnesota families.”

In addition to these annually awarded competitive resources, Minnesota Housing also has an impressive record supporting homeownership. Since 2011, the agency has financed $4 billion in mortgages, helping more than 26,000 families achieve the dream of homeownership for the first time. The funding awards announced today also further the goals and recommendations released in the recent Housing Task Force report that called for 300,000 new homes by 2030 across all types, prices and locations. See complete recommendations at mnhousingtaskforce.com.