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ACHIEVEability understands the value of measurements and accountability in helping families reach self-sufficiency. To this end, ACHIEVEability has developed the Family Self-Sufficiency Continuum, a tool to measure a family's progress toward self-sufficiency.
The continuum contains objective, measurable criteria for finance, education, parenting and personal development. Movement upward along the continuum, from level one through level five, represents success and accomplishments that will bring the family from depending on supportive services to self reliance.
ACHIEVEabilty Announces the Creation of the Officer Moses Walker, Jr. Scholarship Fund. Thanks to the support of the scholarship fund, each year on October 28th (the birthday of Officer Walker) a participant in our program will be the recipient of the scholarship. The Walker Scholarship will benefit single-parent ACHIEVEability program participants whom are receiving at least a 3.0 GPA at an accredited trade school, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree program and demonstrate a financial need.
The grant was directed to ACHIEVEability by Wayne Lipscomb, mother of Fallen Police Officer Moses, Jr. Walker. Officer Walker, who was shot and killed on August 18, 2012, was a big support for his mother, Wayne Lipscomb, who is a former ACHIEVEability participant and employee. Officer Walker volunteered on various occasions with tasks at the ACHIEVEability Computer Center.
Purpose of the scholarship:
To provide financial support to participants for education related expenses. The grant is to support students enrolled in an accredited program or trade school, and those completing internships.
ACHIEVEability strives to help its families become financially self-sufficient. A family's financial progress is measured by credit score, savings and earned income. We use the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania as a measuring tool to determine each parent's progress toward financial self-sufficiency.
The average ACHIEVEability family is comprised of one adult and two children and is earning $19,153 per year, which is 57% of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania in Philadelphia County.
During the past two years, 25 ACHIEVEability parents earned college degrees. Upon entering the program for these parents:
Upon earning degrees for these 16 parents:
This represents an increase in earning of 66% for these families bringing their average earnings above the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania in Philadelphia County. This increase in annual earnings of more than $13,000 reinforces the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty.
ACHIEVEability helps parents develop their relationships with their children by providing parenting workshops and monitoring their children's progress in school. As our families grow in the program, children begin to do well in school; parents continue to give positive support and affection and begin to teach their children about their own personal development. Parents will provide healthy foods for their children and take them to regular dental and medical checkups.
ACHIEVEability coaches work with parents to develop the necessary parenting skills to ensure the success of their children. Ultimately, our parents are working to break the generational cycle of poverty within their own families.
Children in the program are much more likely to graduate high school compared to other children in Pennsylvania. 99% of ACHIEVEability children graduate from high school, and 67% of those who gradute attend college. In comparision, a recent study completed by The National Center on Family Homelessness revealed a graduation rate of less than 25% among homeless children in Pennsylvania.
ACHIEVEability develops housing for our families from abandoned homes and vacant lots that are located close to the services and resources needed by the families.
Our housing development activities not only help the families we serve, but also help the neighborhoods where the homes are located. We replace run-down and vacant houses with new homes to create a healthier and more vibrant environment for the community.
ACHIEVEability has developed 210 homes, mostly in West Philadelphia. We have also developed six offices in West Philadelphia. One office includes a computer center and a community office, through which we serve as the designated Neighborhood Advisory Committee for the City of Philadelphia.
ACHIEVEability currently manages 152 homes for families in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. ACHIEVEability has sold 42 homes, many to successful graduates of the program, helping them to make the complete transition from homelessness to homeownership. In addition, ACHIEVEability has developed several housing units for ActionAIDS in North Philadelphia.
ACHIEVEability, in collaboration with Turning Points for Children, offers a 12-week long workshop series on parenting for parents in the program. The curriculum includes the philosophy and practices of nuturing, ages and stages of growth, communicating with respect, building self-worth and understanding and developing family morals and values. This workshop series is offered on an ongoing basis.
ACHIEVEability, in collaboration with the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, provides Individual Development Accounts (IDA) to its families. The IDAs match the savings of those enrolled 2 to 1. Participating parents save $2,000 and, in return, receive an additional $4,000. IDAs also help our parents learn financial skills in saving, budgeting and money management. The funds saved through the IDAs are used toward the settlement costs to buy a home.
For more information contact:
ACHIEVEability's academic coaches and dedicated volunteers, such as work study students from Saint Joseph's University and University of Pennsylvania, provide tutoring services for parents and their children. The personalized coaching includes assessing academic progress and providing supports to ensure the success of our families.
PNC Bank in partnership with ACHIEVEability presents this series of classes to our parents. The 6-week program provides practical advice on how to prepare to become a homeowner, how to increase the chances of getting a mortgage, how to repair or protect credit and how to shop for a home. The Homebuyers Club is offered throughout the year.
ACHIEVEability helps parents access scholarships and government financial assistance. In some cases, we assist them with tuition payments and book expenses.