• Kleinert Foundation

Weekly Reader November 15, 2019

By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer

1. Opportunity Youth in Texas- Identifying and Reengaging the State’s Disconnected Young People

By: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Anna Crockett, Emily Ryder Perlmeter and Molly Hubbert Doyle

"Opportunity (or “disconnected”) youth are defined as young people age 16–24 who are neither in school nor working. A staggering 4.5 million young people fall into that category in the U.S., according to 2017 data, the most recent available. That’s 11.5 percent of all people in this age group. This is down from a recent peak of 14.7 percent in 2010 after the Great Recession. While many adverse situations contribute to a young adult becoming disconnected from school and the workforce, researchers coined the phrase “opportunity youth” to emphasize their potential economic and social contributions. As such, much of the ongoing research focuses on how employers and schools can help reengage opportunity youth so they can fulfill that potential.

Without these interventions, the cost of opportunity youth often falls on the public in the form of governmental assistance programs and incarceration expenditures. Compared with their peers, opportunity youth are more likely to be incarcerated, have a disability and/or live in poverty, and they are less likely to be in good health.[4] This disengagement, therefore, has real consequences—not just for the individuals themselves, but also for their families, their neighborhoods and their communities.

The effects of reengagement are similarly widespread. When opportunity youth go back to school or get a job, they increase their lifetime earnings and can help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for their descendants. There are also potential fiscal benefits for government—and for taxpayers. Because they see potential in these opportunity youth—both economic and otherwise—many researchers and practitioners are working hard to reengage them.

Read the full publication here:

2. In Collin County A Nonprofit Collaborative is Tackling Homelessness Head-On

By: FWDDFW, Sabrina Corsiga

"If you live or work in the booming suburbs of Collin County, you might be surprised to learn that this part of North Texas is also facing a homelessness crisis. A 2018 census found that 53 percent of Collin County’s total homeless population were women, while children accounted for 33 percent. Approximately 3,000 of those turned away from homeless shelters in Collin County each year are single mom families, most with young children.

One Collin County resident, a single mother of two young boys, was recently unable to care for both of her sons because of health complications, which resulted in decreased hours at work, and ultimately, losing her housing.

But things started to turn around for this single mother when she got help from the Collin County Mobility Collaborative (CCMC). With their help, she was able to secure an apartment and reliable vehicle, live with both of her children, and continue pursuing her degree in medical technology.

Her newfound stability earned her a promotion at a new job, college scholarships, a spot on the Dean’s list and a full-time hospital position upon graduation."

Read the full article here:

3. Three Unexpected Lessons from Social Enterprise – Sarah Burns, Duke University Fuqua School of Business

By: REDF Blog, Farber Series

"This summer, I worked at Roca, an employment social enterprise organization located outside of  Boston that empowers young men and women disrupt the cycle of poverty and incarceration by helping them to build the behaviors and skills needed to lead safe, stable, independent lives. The young people Roca serves have been court-involved and/or street-involved. Often, they are disconnected from school and have little or no work experience. Roca’s four-year intervention model helps young people build a critical set of soft (e.g., emotional regulation, conflict management, teamwork) and hard (e.g., vocational certifications) skills through a mix of classroom learning and employment on a transitional work crew.

I focused on assisting Roca’s executive team evaluate and improve their engagement with the employers who hire, or have the potential to hire, Roca’s young people once they complete transitional employment. Successfully maintaining employment is key to leading a safe, stable, and independent life, so Roca’s relationships with employers are an important component of their intervention model.

After examining Roca’s process, I developed an operating model for external employer engagement that outlined the responsibilities of the central executive team and of individual sites, along with a plan for implementation."

Read the full article here:

4. Research Shows If Families Struggle With Money, It Ends Up Costing The City

By: KERA, Courtney Collins

"When a family struggles with money, it can actually affect a city's finances.

New research from the Urban Institute reveals that financially insecure families cost Dallas as much as $69 million dollars this year.

Eviction: If a family has little or no savings, that family is much more likely to be evicted if finances are disrupted, for example, if someone loses a job. If they are evicted, they're at much higher risk of becoming homeless. And homeless men, women and children cost cities thousands of dollars each year. People living in financially insecure households are 14 times more likely to be evicted after a disruption to their finances.

Missed utility bills: In the U.S., $12 billion in public utilities sales taxes were collected last year. That money goes toward things like infrastructure and transportation. If something goes awry for a financially insecure family, that family is three times more likely to miss a utility bill payment compared with a family that's on solid financial footing.

Missed house payments: Missed house payments mean missed property taxes; and cities really rely on them. The typical local government generates almost of third of its revenue from collecting property taxes, so when people miss house payments, it puts a dent in a city's revenues and spending power."

Read the full article here:

5. Carlyn Ray: Glasswork for All

By: Dallas Doing Good, Mary Martin

"Carlyn Ray stands with a towering shelf of glass rods as her backdrop, every color of the rainbow waiting to be selected for the next project. Just off to the side is a row of fiery furnaces, opposite a set of gymnasium bleachers. It is in this open space that Carlyn uses her creative energy and passion for community to connect people of all ages and backgrounds to her love of art through glass.

Holding a small glass butterfly, Carlyn shares about her latest community installation project. Through the month of July, Carlyn and her team made regular visits to the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas to visit patients and their families, showing them how to affix glass pieces to the butterfly base. This colored base was put back into the kiln and their designs melted onto the butterfly wings. Altogether, more than 700 butterflies were hung by stainless steel wire across the lobby of the Ronald McDonald house, reflecting light and color through the space. “I believe in positive and imaginative art in institutions like hospitals,” Carlyn said. “This type of healing art is connected to inner strength and the comfort that people are seeking.”

Read the full article here:

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