Our Approach

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.


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 less than $20,000 per year, which is nearly 60% of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania in Philadelphia County.

During FY15 and FY16, 28 ACHIEVEability parents earned college degrees. These degree earners who exited the program saw a 50% increase in average annual salary from entry. This increase in average annual earnings of more than $9,000 reinforces the importance of education in breaking the cylce 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. In 2016, 100% of ACHIEVEability children in high school graduated and then enrolled in college. This is nearly 60% higher than the Philadelphia college enrollment average. 



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.

See a list of all our housing activities.

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.


Individual Development Accounts

ACHIEVEability, in collaboration with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, 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:

Community Services Office
215-557-8484 ext. 8839
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tutoringACHIEVEability'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. 



ACHIEVEability helps parents access scholarships and government financial assistance. In some cases, we assist them with tuition payments and book expenses.