In 2014, Bethel was awarded a two-year, $750,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to pilot and evaluate the impact of a two-generational strategy supporting West Side Chicago families to move out of poverty. Family College will be piloted from May 2014 – June 2016 and will support ninety West Side families. Bethel is utilizing the pilot as one tool to help guide its strategy of reducing concentrated poverty. Results from the pilot will help to shape future programmatic and policy investments and contribute to the national discussion around two-generation strategies.
Two-generation programs such as Family College are a promising practice to address generational poverty. The programs provide children with early education intervention vital to academic success. In addition, parents receive support to facilitate the economic mobility essential for the family to escape poverty. Family College participants will access opportunities through education and training, economic support, and social capital. Parents and children will have access to opportunities in education and training; while economic support will focus on asset building and housing counseling for adults. Participants will enhance their social capital through intentional social network building, leadership development, family social interaction enhancement, problem-solving and other personal development activities.