• Kleinert Foundation

Weekly Reader November 22, 2019

By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer

1. Merry Watson: Starting a School for Café Momentum

By: Dallas Doing Good, Mary Martin

"Now, after almost a full semester as Café Momentum Education Coordinator, Merry has found her stride. The Café Momentum Home School serves 20 students who are part of the Café Momentum internship, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training facility designed to transform at-risk youth who have come in contact with the Dallas County Juvenile Justice system. Café Momentum offers more than just employment, and is focused on providing wrap-around services so young adults are able to rebuild their lives. “With the population of kids we serve, we are working to make education accessible to them without giving them a hiccup to overcome,” explained Merry. For young adults who have been incarcerated, traditional schools often represent past hardships, so the education program at Café Momentum is set up to help its students get un-stuck from old mindsets."

Read the full article here:

2. #SomethingGood: North Texas Food Truck Employs At-Risk Kids

By: NBC 5, Laura Harris

"Kleinert’s food truck employs kids who are coming from the juvenile court system in Dallas.

Kleinert, who is very humble, wanted to pass the credit on to a man she says has helped her help so many.

"Chad Houser, owner of Café Momentum [in Dallas], is the real hero. He works with [these] kids and teaches them to play with knives and fire! His restaurant is incredible and employs and supports these young people with social skills and wraparound services such as case workers, tutoring and mental health classes. The kids at Cafe Momentum are typically there for 12-18 months and then they need to move on to other employment opportunities because there is a waiting list of kids to come in behind them."

Read/watch the full article here:

3. About 60% of homeless youth in Dallas area experience family violence, survey finds

By: Dallas Morning News,

"MDHA presented data from its two 2019 surveys of homeless youth living in the Dallas area at the event hosted by Lovers Lane United Methodist Church.

The organization surveyed about 261 homeless youth in late January and in June around Dallas, Plano, Mesquite, Frisco and Garland. Their ages ranged from 12-26. The federal government defines homeless youth as anyone 24 or younger who doesn’t have a parent or guardian to care for them during their period of homelessness.

Homeless youth surveyed in the Dallas area say they’ve been homeless for an average of 12 months over the past three years.

Most respondents said they’d experienced violence from family members, among other adverse conditions at home:

About 60% suffered family violence.40% cited child abuse and neglect.About 30% had been through the foster care system.

Keri Stitt, president and CEO of Youth180, said that oftentimes homeless youth go unnoticed because there’s a lack of education about how these youth can blend into their surroundings.

“People don’t realize that there’s homeless youth. It’s hard to fathom that there are young people living on the streets,” Stitt said. “Youth homelessness presents very differently. They might be couch surfing, and you might not see them on the street.”

Read the full article here:

4. A Step Forward- Social Enterprise Ecosystems in the U.S. Study

By: Halycon

"In this report are key findings and insights in each of the four pillars: funding, human capital, quality of life, and support systems. A few pointers for how to get the most out of each section:

Each section begins with key correlations from survey data and highlighted relationships that show statistical significance.

Survey data in each section is followed by a city ranking specific to one of the four pillars, based on our model of publicly available data.

Finally, each section features expert insights and highlights from survey responses “in their words.”

Read the full report here:

5. 2019 Protected Innocence Challenge Toolkit

By: Shared Hope International

"This Toolkit is intended to be used in conjunction with the Protected Innocence Challenge materials available online at These materials are organized by state and by the six areas of law analyzed under the Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework. These materials are designed to be printed and used in conjunction with the Toolkit to compile a customized analysis for your state and your key issues. To identify the important issues for your state, review your state’s Analysis and Recommendations report, which includes recommendations for addressing legislative gaps under the Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework."

Read the full report here:

Texas Report Card:

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