The Situation in Maricopa County
667,000 people in Maricopa County live in poverty.
- When families experience financial hardships they may have to move out of their home. For some families this could happen many times in their life. Not only does the family’s home change, but the child’s school or even school district changes.
- Research shows students who frequently change schools tend to have lower scores on standardized reading and math tests and higher dropout rates than their peers.
The Solution: Siemer Family Stability Initiative
Valley of the Sun United Way partners with The Siemer Institute for Family Stability to improve long-term housing. By working to increase home stability, we are also helping escalate academic success of local students.
To do this, United Way and partners work with local school districts to identify struggling families and pair them with a case manager. These case managers work with each person in the family individually to encourage stability throughout the home. Case managers receive financial coach training from United Way. They use these learnings to co-create budgets, and financial goals with the parents or other adults in the family. They also work with children to improve academic performance by connecting them to mentors, counselors or other services so they can succeed in school.
“If I didn’t use the Siemer program, I would probably be homeless again. There were times we couldn’t pay the rent or electrical bill, and without help, it would cause the cycle all over again. I got everything the kids needed and then some, and for that I have the utmost gratitude.”
– Ginna, Siemer participant
Helping local families find stability
- Out of the 228 families who have been served, 83% improved housing stability
- 43% improved income
- Serve an additional 150 families in the Valley
How Can I Help?
With your gift, families can receive the services they need to find and maintain stable housing, helping them get back on their feet, and allowing the children to focus on their education. Join the fight for families in our community.
There are several opportunities throughout the year to help local families, such as Avondale KidFest, a free event that showcases community groups dedicated to families and children while celebrating the value and importance of families as a key part of a healthy community.
Visit volunteer.vsuw.org to see upcoming events.