When thinking about poverty, it is very easy to look at it as a singular issue. We naturally try to find simple actions to fix the problem. However, poverty is multi-faceted and sometimes requires complex and difficult approaches to create change. This is especially true in regards to the issues under-resourced college students face. For a college student who is coming out of our community, success can be hard to achieve. They will face challenges in their new environment, culturally, academically, and emotionally as they adjust to the challenges of higher education that all students face. However, as we often see, our students fight the challenge of unreliable and often unsafe housing situations. When Able Works looks at the factors in stabilizing the community, getting kids through college ranks at the top of the list. But how do we remove these barriers?
Recently, we had an amazing opportunity. A small, four-unit apartment complex became available for us to purchase. Immediately, we saw a connection between this complex and the desperate needs of local college students. We knew this project could be the resource for students we’ve been looking for!
Our vision is to create a dorm like setting that would allow students to escape any challenges that might prevent them from succeeding both academically and personally. This environment will facilitate the transition from life at home to living independently; facilitate the transition to a new school; provide the opportunity to integrate into a community of peers while learning social skills; and most importantly it will provide the quiet space and stable housing environment they so desperately need to focus on their studies and successfully complete college.
This will be a partnership with another local organization, Live In Peace, that already provides support and scholarships to local college students. They have a long history of getting students into college and helping them remain in college.
Our other partner in creating this dorm like housing is 2nd Mile. 2nd Mile is a non-profit organization that has done a lot of work in East Palo Alto and seeks to invest in communities with simple, direct, and unyielding kindness. 2nd Mile has created a great floor plan that will allow 10 students to live there.
We are so thrilled that God has provided us with this amazing resource and opportunity! Construction is set to begin in the summer and volunteer opportunities will be available for various projects. If you are interested in volunteering at a workday or have skilled knowledge of construction projects, please contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will keep you up to date of those projects.