Finance Class Gradutes from Hope House, Inc. visit Junior Achievement’s Lincoln Finance Park

This evening we joined our ‘My Money’ finance class graduates from Hope House, Inc., a home for chemically dependent women, along with their tutor, Kyla, at Junior Achievement’s Lincoln Finance Park.

Lincoln Finance Park is a real-world simulation exercise where students are assigned a life role as they enter the building. This role includes life circumstances which include marital status, income, and other factors.

The facility includes mock restaurants, insurance, gas, electricity bills, and entertainment spending exercises to teach students how to budget and live within their income.

Click the picture below to check out the entire album.

HCFTW tutor, Kyla, receives her certificate from a graduate.
HCFTW tutor, Kyla, receives her certificate from a graduate.

 

 

Three Reasons Why Education Programs for Adults are Necessary to Help the Homeless Population

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Three Reasons Why Education Programs for Adults are Necessary to Help the Homeless Population

The Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne works to address homelessness through the education of one individual (or small group of individuals) at a time. Benefits of adult education include increased job opportunities, increased opportunities for homeless children and learner confidence.

Increased Job Opportunities

According to the National Coalition for Literacy:

In 2009, 24% of adults aged 25+ without a high school diploma experienced poverty, 12% of those with a high school degree or equivalent did so, and the rates continue to drop with educational attainment.

It is true that employment does not solve homelessness. Increasing employment opportunity is certainly worth the effort. Employment can increase confidence, quality of life, and opportunities for future success.

The Heartland Alliance, a leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest, believes that basic adult education is essential for the future well being of impoverished adults. According to their website:

Jobs that require at least some postsecondary education are expected to grow in the next decade, however many low-skilled jobseekers lack the basic reading and math skills needed to access post-secondary education and training programs.

One must crawl before walking. If a homeless individual wishes to pursue higher education, he or she may be hopelessly blocked by a lack of basic skills. Even if a homeless individual does not desire to pursue higher education, basic math and English skills are necessary for many if not most entry-level positions.

Learning is a Family Affair

Families comprise 36% of America’s homeless population according to a 2013 report by the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development. Parents, naturally, are their children’s first teachers. A parent teaches their child everything from how to walk and talk to how to behave and function in society. A teacher cannot teach what he/she does not know. Due to extenuating circumstances earlier in life, a parent may lack the very skills the parent wishes to teach his/her child. In such a situation the parent may need a little help. The more help the parent receives, the more help the child is likely to receive.

Learner Confidence

Confidence is one of those magical things that impact every area of an individual’s life. Confidence can lead to a better personal, home and work life. A lack of confidence can do exactly the opposite. What an individual needs to be confident changes from individual to individual. Look at another quote from the Heartland Alliance:

Learner confidence and persistence may increase when literacy and numeracy instruction is relevant to learners’ practical goals, and when students are given the opportunity to apply what they learn.

The idea that education needs to be centered on the individual is at the very heart of the Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne’s mission. Classes are tailored to meet the needs of the tutee. The tutee gains the appropriate knowledge for his/her own life path. With knowledge comes power. With power comes confidence.

Related Reading

https://www.onecpd.info/resources/documents/ahar-2013-part1.pdf http://www.national-coalition-l

iteracy.org/AdultEducationSupportsNationalPriorities.pdf

http://www.icphusa.org/pdf/reports/accesstosuccess.pdf

http://www.heartlandalliance.org/ntjn/ntjn-weh-models-1-24-2012.pdf

Benefits of Becoming a Tutor

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You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.– Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill understood the spirit of volunteerism. The more a volunteer gives, the more the volunteer benefits. This cycle of positive reinforcement can have a revolutionary impact in any community.

There are hundreds of ways a person can volunteer. This article is here to encourage the reader to consider becoming a volunteer tutor. There are numerous benefits to being a tutor. The benefits vary from person to person and situation to situation. Here are six benefits to volunteer tutoring that are pretty universal.

1.) Make A Difference – Everyone wants to feel that he/she makes a difference. The grind is great, but what about the impact? Tutoring gives the tutor the joy of knowing that he/she is making a difference one person at a time.

2.) Increased Knowledge – It is no secret that teaching a subject helps the teacher learn the subject even better. The more the teacher learns the better the teacher can teach the next tutee. Knowledge is power. In this case both sides of the tutor/tutee relationship are empowered.

3.) Develop Interpersonal Skills – No man is an island. Good interpersonal skills are essential in many professional settings including networking, interviewing and team managing.

4.) Flexible Schedule – Any act of volunteerism is going to come with a time commitment. With tutoring there is usually only one other person involved. This gives the tutor and the tutee a great amount of flexibility to hammer out a schedule that works for them.

5.) Resume Building – It is not hard to find oneself in that classic catch 22 of work experience. It is impossible to get a job without work experience. It is impossible to get work experience without a job. Being a tutor volunteer is a chance to stand out to a potential employer.

6.) Increased Self Esteem – Self esteem feeds off of accomplishment. Once a tutor has reaped the benefits of tutoring and seen the tutee reap the benefits of being tutored, a deep sense of accomplishment begins to settle in. Who knows? The tutor may be hooked.

Grand opening of The Coutyard, a facility of SAFY

On Thursday, July 10th, The Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Inc. joined SAFY to celebrate the grand opening of their new facility “The Courtyard” located at 2828 Fairfield Ave, here in Fort Wayne. The Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Inc.  has formed a partnership with SAFY and will be providing educational services at The Courtyard.

The facility will house homeless youth as well as those aging out of the already overwhelmed foster care system.

Many gathered from all across Fort Wayne to celebrate the opening of a facility that is desperately needed and will surely be a tremendous asset to the community-at-large. For more information, visit the official SAFY page for The Coutyard.

Click the picture below to check out pictures from the event.

Donna Bollinger, with honored guests, including the Mayor of Fort Wayne, cut the ribbon for The Courtyard
Donna Bollinger, with honored guests, including the Mayor of Fort Wayne, cut the ribbon for The Courtyard

Homelessness & Fort Wayne; Episode 3; Homeless Youth

Today we were at Access Fort Wayne filming the 3rd installment of the television show: Homelessness & Fort Wayne. The topic of discussion this month was homeless youth and was a lively debate, with our expert panel weighing in on problems, possible solutions, and general thoughts.

Click the picture below to check out the full set of behind-the-scenes photos.

On the set of Homelessness & Fort Wayne