The Child and Family Development Program Area at Rose Community Foundation supports organizations that help parents of young children obtain the skills and resources they need to provide effectively for their families. Employment and training, and financial education support programs are structured to meet the needs of these parents, entering or seeking advancement in living-wage jobs, as they pursue a path toward self-sufficiency.
When Rose Community Foundation developed its funding priorities to get families of young children to economic success, they knew many variables were at stake. It was not just about providing access to jobs. What about affordable housing? Did parents have job readiness skills to get living-wage jobs? Would their children have access to high-quality childcare? There were cultural factors at play, family dynamics, transportation needs and mental health issues that needed to be addressed. These complex issues meant this work must be more than providing direct services and that gaining true self-sufficiency needed to be addressed at many levels and from all directions. There was no golden ticket. However, the Foundation’s portfolio or “cluster” approach has allowed it to fund and bring together groups of organizations that can address the multiple issues impacting families.
“Finding like-minded organizations that serve a population through parallel services and providing an environment for them to work together, will undoubtedly create greater momentum for change in the populations they seek to serve,” says Elsa Holguín, senior program officer at Rose Community Foundation. “We know that our greatest power lies not in getting organizations to work with us, but rather with each other.”
Many of the parents of young children live on the edge of a financial cliff. Mpowered is one of ten nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing financial direction by offering free, unbiased, one-on-one professional coaching in English and Spanish. Mpowered is joined by others like Mi Casa Resource Center, Warren Village, Work Options for Women and the Center for Work, Education and Employment, in this critical work. Rose Community Foundation believes that together they will affect the lasting change they seek for the community.