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Moving Families from Poverty to Prosperity Two Generations at a Time

3 min read

“I didn’t think I could be a good mom, but then I learned that I wasn’t the only one thinking that. There were other mothers who were having similar experiences. I wasn’t alone. It’s a sisterhood here.”

These are the words of Charity, who, after leaving a controlling relationship with her son’s father, moved in with her parents. Trapped in the cycle of poverty, she did not know the true extent of her skills and the educational opportunities available to help her succeed. She had little direction in how to manage the chaos around her. “I didn’t know what do to,” she said. That is, until her older sister recommended she turn to Jeremiah Program.

Jeremiah Program helps lift families from poverty to prosperity by providing single-mothers with the tools to succeed in the workplace and in higher education, while also delivering quality early childhood education combined with a safe, affordable place to live. Their goal is to transform lives two generations at a time in a safe and supportive community — a sisterhood, indeed.

Today, Charity and her son Andre are well on the path to success. Charity has successfully completed two semesters at North Hennepin Community College with a 3.5 GPA, and she intends to finish her associate degree at Minneapolis Community and Technical College before transferring to Metro State in preparation to become a middle school teacher. “I am proving I can be a successful student,” Charity says. “Before I started at Jeremiah, I really didn’t know my worth.”

Andre is also thriving at Jeremiah in the toddler room, happy and interactive with the other children.

What is Jeremiah Program?

Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation's most successful strategies for ending the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time. Two-generational - or 2Gen - programs uniquely focus on the whole family and achieve long-term, sustainable results. The approach has been proven to achieve significant educational, health and economic benefits for parents, children and communities. In addition, they are boldly transforming communities with the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These principles guide their efforts for transforming families from poverty to prosperity.

Jeremiah Program provides five essential services to single mothers and their children that form the necessary foundation to empower them to escape poverty and achieve prosperity.

  • Providing safe and affordable housing to mothers and their children.
  • Introducing an intentional community “sisterhood,” as Charity calls it — that is extremely supportive in helping single-mothers in similar situations realize that they are not alone and that others are going through similar hardships.
  • Delivering quality early childhood education, which provides the children of these mothers with the skills and tools to later find their own success.
  • Offering empowerment and life skills training, which includes conflict management, assertive communication, and personal accountability.
  • Lending support for a career-track, college education, which offers even greater opportunities in the workforce.

With these five services, Jeremiah has learned that helping empower individuals toward a transformed life can be accomplished two generations at a time.

Jeremiah Today

Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Jeremiah Program is expanding throughout the country to meet the growing demand for its model. The organization has campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, Austin, TX and Fargo, ND. Construction has begun on a campus in Rochester-SE, Minnesota, set to open in the summer of 2020. In Boston and Brooklyn, Jeremiah has introduced an innovative nonresidential model, working with leading organizations to serve mothers and children. Learn more at https://jeremiahprogram.org/.

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