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: https://www.endicott.edu/about/research-at-endicott/perg/pergs-work
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.
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.