2020 Symposium Industry Report: Growing Up & Out of Poverty

challenge. Typically funding comes from a combination of hard-fought grants and fundraising efforts. The benefits of such programming, for children in particular, include improved reading and math skills retention. The program also helps families secure electronic devices and reliable internet connections to conduct distance learning. Participants in programming typically also improve nutrition and experience other health benefits. These partnerships must be intentional if they are to improve educational outcomes. The NHP Foundation, for example, has held Back to School Night and parent teacher conferences in their common spaces to encourage participation by residents and to enable teachers and school staff to see where their students live. There are many reasons why parents may not

be involved in their child’s education, but one may be their own negative experiences in school buildings. Schools may not be seen as safe spaces and teachers or other staff can be intimidating, particularly for those parents who are not native English speakers. Resident service providers like NHPF’s Operation Pathways are more likely to have a positive relationship with parents and can act as liaisons or intermediaries between home and school. School events held in community centers are “safer” spaces for residents who are already active

in site-based programming. Holding these events on site also helps to accommodate those parents who might struggle with transportation or child-care. Support groups and resource hotlines were also suggested by Dr. Mary Badillo at the symposium. These groups could bring together residents to share resources, experiences, and connections that have helped in shared or similar situations. Some developers at NHPF have been successful at incorporating “seed money” for resident services into development budgets for appropriate properties. These funds are being used to jumpstart services programming and provide breathing room for resident services management to supplement the budgets via traditional grants and other fundraising. Developers are also folding in funding for one year’s salary for a Resident Services Coordinator into operating budgets. While these measures buy time for onsite providers to accrue additional funds to help sustain resident service for years to come, it is hoped that more developers will adopt this model and eventually find ways to build longer term financing into development and operational budgets. 2. P rovide additional support to schools and school districts to enhance staff training and improve support plans Training and planning are critical tools for educators to support students and families experiencing housing instability. Many of the educators who responded to this survey reported not attending a training on housing-related challenges or that trainings were not made available by their school or district. This indicates an opportunity for the community

The NHP Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners | Growing Up & Out of Poverty 19

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