Mission: Jeremiah Program partners with low income single mothers and their children to break the cycle of poverty, two generations at a time.
How does your organization strive toward the attributes associated with Relevance?
Low-income single moms are navigating a system that is often stacked against them. The costs associated with single parenting–childcare, housing, health care, food, and more–contribute to the economic insecurity and instability of single mothers and directly impact their ability to get ahead. In fact, among Boston families with children under age five, single moms are ten times more likely to live in poverty than married couples (44%, compared to 4%). Black and Latina single mothers in Boston, like the majority of women we serve, are two and three times, respectively, more likely to live in poverty than white single mothers.
Too often, solutions to address intergenerational poverty among low income families focus on only one intervention at a time without considering how families’ success is inextricably linked. Jeremiah Program uniquely works with both generations to help mothers and children climb the socioeconomic ladder together through holistic support.
Jeremiah Program Boston knows that two of the biggest predictors for long term success are post-secondary education and early childhood education. That’s why we focus on eliminating barriers to education and creating stability for two generations at a time – single moms AND their young kids.
How does your organization strive toward the attributes associated with Impact?
By graduation, Jeremiah Program mothers earn post-secondary degrees; gain placement in first-time career-track jobs; increase their earnings; build their confidence and sense of belonging; strengthen their networks for sustained stability and community participation; and increase their access to safe and affordable housing. In addition, Jeremiah fosters educational achievements among their children, beginning with kindergarten-readiness and leading to high school graduation and college.
Jeremiah Program Boston’s place-based service model leverages existing community assets, while allowing Jeremiah to bring our unique expertise on empowering permanent family transformation through two-generation programming. By delivering programming in collaboration with community partners, we promote learning across sectors to make programming and interventions inclusive and effective for single mothers.
Jeremiah Program places a high priority on evaluation and continuous improvement; not only do results steer program design and delivery, they also advance our capacity to disseminate the power of our two-generation anti-poverty solution in Boston and across the United States.
In 2018, Program Evaluation & Research Group (PERG), with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, completed a three year descriptive implementation study of our Boston model. Key findings included that the Boston model of two-generation service delivery is less expensive and can accommodate a larger population. These findings helped lay the groundwork for our new three year strategic growth plan completed this fall, which outlines goals and benchmarks of over the next three years for growth and sustainability.
How does your organization strive toward the attributes associated with Sustainability?
Building on our history of success, our vision is to scale from serving 20 families to serving 150 families at a time by 2022. To grow our program strategically and responsibly, we completed a new strategic growth plan that outlines our goals and benchmarks over the next three years. In accordance with this plan, we plan to soon hire an additional staff person to increase our volunteer and individual fundraising capacity.
We were recently awarded a $200,000 multi-year grant from Wellington Management Foundation to seed this growth, and are seeking investments from like-minded funders to invest in our vision to end the cycle of poverty, two generations at a time.
Jeremiah Program Boston staff and the local Community Board of Trustees are responsible for raising all of the funds to support our local program in Boston, which we raise through individual, foundation, corporation, and special event contributions. We are also working hard to build local reserves as we grow. However, in the unanticipated event of a revenue gap, national reserves are available to ensure the continuity of our critical services for families.
EXCELLENCE IN MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS
How does your organization strive toward the attributes associated with Excellence in Management and Operations?
Jeremiah has a dedicated and highly-qualified team committed to empowering our determined families, including 3.25 FTE staff members, a diverse board, and over 50 volunteers. The Jeremiah Communities Board of Trustees is composed of 11 educational, business, faith community, philanthropic, and public sector leaders from around the Boston area. Emilia Diamant, LCSW, is the first Executive Director of Jeremiah Program-Boston, and she approaches her work with an eye toward how systems of racial inequity impact families Jeremiah supports.
Given that 100% of Jeremiah Boston families represent communities of color, it is critical that we apply a racial equity lens to all our work. Our Diversity and Inclusion Plan guides efforts to address racism and drive equity among our families, employees, and volunteers. We to strive to make diversity inclusion a central focus in our Boston Program by building a diverse board and staff that reflects the many identities of the families we serve. Among our staff of four, 100% are women, 75% (3) are women of color and single mothers, and one is a Jeremiah Program mom.
As part of a national 501(3)c3 organization, Jeremiah Program Boston receives technical assistance from our national office headquartered in Minneapolis, MN in the areas of fundraising, human resources, communications, evaluation, and finance.
HOW DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION ENGAGE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS / EMERGING LEADERS?
Since launching Jeremiah Program Boston in 2014, Executive Director Emilia Diamant, a young professional herself, has been intentional in building a Board of Trustees and volunteer base that gives a strong voice to young, emerging leaders. We understand that as we help young professionals grow as leaders through board and volunteer experience, they help us grow our program in Boston by connecting us with the many organizations and sectors they represent. Currently, 5 board members are age 40 or under.