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 Response Page - Sands  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the 
Susan Sands  Interview of
09-26-2014.

Emphasis on two generations brings families out of poverty and into living-wage jobs

OVERVIEW

According to Susan Sands, Minneapolis-based Jeremiah Program is unique in its approach to attacking the problem of poverty among single mothers and their young children. Rather than focusing only on the mothers or only on the children, Jeremiah attempts to move the families from poverty to prosperity by working with both generations at the same time. The intensive program is aimed at low-income mothers age 18 or older with children age five or under.

Before a family can fully participate in Jeremiah, the mother must have a high school diploma or GED, complete a 16-week empowerment program and be accepted into a postsecondary institution. After meeting these requirements, families who are accepted into the full Jeremiah Program live in housing units on the Jeremiah campus in either Minneapolis or St. Paul, while the mother earns a career-track degree or certification at a postsecondary institution. On each campus, the children attend a high-quality Child Development Center, which aims to prepare them for kindergarten. Families stay in Jeremiah program for an average of two-and-a-half to three years.

Jeremiah Program outcomes show high levels of success, Sands reports. Sixty-one percent of women who finish the empowerment program and then enroll in Jeremiah complete the full program. Graduates earn a livable wage, averaging $19.35 an hour, and 90 percent of them maintain consistent employment. Ninety-three percent of graduates' children are performing at or above grade level.

Jeremiah has started expanding to several other cities around the country, but Sands is quick to say that the program will only go into cities where it is invited as a community initiative. She says, though, that the cost of providing housing and limits on philanthropy in the Twin Cities area make it difficult to expand Jeremiah's program here.

For the complete interview summary see: Sands interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (9.3 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (7.7 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Innovative approaches needed. (8.1 average response) Innovative approaches are urgently needed to help lift the large number of poor, single-mother families out of poverty.

4. Two-generation approach is better. (9.8 average response) A two-generation effort, helping children with education while simultaneously empowering mothers, is more effective than helping either just the children or just the mothers alone.

5. Empower mothers to take responsibility. (9.5 average response) Mothers need to be empowered so they understand that they, and not someone else, are responsible for their own lives and their children's lives.

6. Postsecondary education is essential. (8.5 average response) Achieving career-track education beyond high school is essential to earn a living-wage income.

7. Living together yields benefits. (9.2 average response) Bringing single-mother families near one another for housing during their training time provides an important opportunity for mutual support and helps to improve the self-confidence of participants.

8. Jeremiah Program should be copied. (8.7 average response) The Jeremiah Program, started in the Twin Cities metro area and beginning to grow nationally, is a good prototype that should be replicated.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

10%

20%

70%

10

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

20%

60%

20%

10

3. Innovative approaches needed.

10%

0%

10%

20%

60%

10

4. Two-generation approach is better.

0%

0%

0%

20%

80%

10

5. Empower mothers to take responsibility.

0%

0%

0%

30%

70%

10

6. Postsecondary education is essential.

0%

0%

10%

50%

40%

10

7. Living together yields benefits.

0%

0%

0%

40%

60%

10

8. Jeremiah Program should be copied.

0%

0%

10%

40%

50%

10

Individual Responses:

Scott Halstead (10) (10) (0) (10) (10) (10) (10) (5)

8. Jeremiah Program should be copied. The program needs to evolve so that costs are less to attract financial support while still achieving high quality results.

Don Anderson (5) (5) (5) (10) (10) (5) (7.5) (7.5)

4. Two-generation approach is better. It's obvious, from past experiences, that just helping children is not effective. Hopefully empowering mothers along with helping children will be more effective.

Donna Schmitt (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10)

1. Topic is of value. Excellent example of community and nonprofit working together.

3. Innovative approaches needed. As each person is an individual, it is important that there are several styles of programs to stop the cycle of low income, single mothers.

7. Living together yields benefits. It can be a benefit, but it could also be detrimental. In this case, the benefits outweigh the concerns.

Phil Kinnunen (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

1. Topic is of value. This sounds like a program that is actually working and needs to be expanded. This will continue to work as long as government interference can be kept out.

2. Further study warranted. Sounds like this program needs new money. Public education on the importance of a program like this is the only way it can grow.

3. Innovative approaches needed. Personal responsibility cannot be overstated.

4. Two-generation approach is better. Sounds like this is working.

5. Empower mothers to take responsibility. This is what we used to call "common sense", but apparently it skipped a couple of generations.

6. Postsecondary education is essential. The more people that move up the ladder makes more room for others to follow.

7. Living together yields benefits. The human need for family cannot be denied. This is why gangs are so successful; they bring a sense of family and togetherness to people who have never had, or lose, hope.

8. Jeremiah Program should be copied. If it works it should be expanded.

Carol Woehrer (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5)

Vici Oshiro (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

2. Further study warranted. We already know lots. Implementation is more important than research.

3. Innovative approaches needed. A recent Facebook posting was about a millionaire who funded vast improvements in one neighborhood including preschool for all kids. Can't remember all the other elements but it cut crime in half, apparently rather quickly.

5. Empower mothers to take responsibility. ECFE does a good job on this too.

6. Postsecondary education is essential. Not always, but usually.

8. Jeremiah Program should be copied. I remember reports from early years of Jeremiah and am pleased that they are now reaching out to other communities. Firmly agree with their philosophy of waiting for an invitation.

Mina Harrigan (10) (7) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Chuck Lutz (9) (9) (8) (9) (10) (8) (8) (10)

Bright Dornblaser (10) (5) (10) (10) (8) (8) (10) (8)

Larrry Schluter (9) (8) (10) (9) (9) (9) (9) (9)

This appears to be an excellent program that would be great if it could be expanded more. Excellent results.

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (executive director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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