Within one of the richest counties in the nation some families still live in poverty. FACETS, a partnering organization of Side by Side, works with children and parents to break the cycle.
Side by Side supports local families through FACETS' Education and Community Development (ECD) program which operates through four low income housing communities in Fairfax, VA. The median annual income within three of these four communities is $18,000 while families in the last community have incomes below 60% of the area's median income.
Side by Side Ministries raises funds and supports ECD's two pronged approach to creating sustainable futures for these families.
1. Work with children to promote academic and social well-being. Programming for kids and students takes place after school and in the evenings, a time when many parents must still be at work. Mentors focus on academics, building self-esteem, substance abuse prevention, healthy relationships and college or career planning.
2. Provide parents and other adults with support they need to break from poverty. Programming includes computer and financial literacy support, career development and ESL classes. Residents can also participate in individualized case management providing eviction prevention and food and financial assistance.
The Education and Community Development program's wholistic approach is already impacting families in these communities.
- In 2015, of the 301 students who participated in programming, 65% achieved honor roll and 100% of graduating seniors went on to higher forms of education.
- In 2015, 339 adults participated in FACETS' community programs receiving the tools they need to succeed in the job market and support to stabilize the family as they progress.
- This year 28% more students achieved honor-roll than last and 100% of students who participated in the College Access Program went on to higher forms of Education- attending George Mason University, James Madison University and Northern Virginia Community College.