Creating a brighter tomorrow for Atlanta’s children
If we want our children to be successful, we must work to ensure they’re living in environments where they have an opportunity to thrive. Unfortunately, in Atlanta, this is a challenge. More than 500,000 children live in communities with low child well-being. This problem becomes even more dire when you consider that Atlanta is ranked first in the nation for income inequality – meaning that only 5 percent of children in under-resourced communities have a chance to raise themselves out of poverty. Moreover, many of these children are facing instability at home, as family homelessness has become an epidemic with more than 1.6 million children experiencing homelessness over the course of the year.
So how can we support these children? How are we ensuring that “all the children are well?”
I’ve made a commitment to improving child well-being by investing my time and talent through United Way’s Young Professional Leaders (YPL). There, I serve alongside 2,000 committed young leaders who have invested more than $1.8 million and 1,500 service hours in Atlanta communities. Three years ago, YPL selected Kids Home Initiative (KHI) as its signature cause. Kids Home Initiative seeks to create stability for children at risk for homelessness. The focus of this program couldn’t be more important as homeless children are more likely to fall behind because, on average, they switch schools three or more times in a given school year. Through Kids Home Initiative, United Way seeks to provide a comprehensive solution to help families avoid homelessness, regain secure and successful futures, and keep children in school.
We couldn’t be more excited about the success of KHI as more than 500 families have established housing stability though the program. Even with these results, there is more work to be done. After making investments to establish Tech Up (a program that provides KHI families with computers, internet and digital literacy training) and launching Kids Home in Douglas and Clayton Counties, YPL would like to expand Kids Home Initiative to more Atlanta communities and we plan to do it through Atlanta’s ultimate party with a purpose, YPL’s A Night for a Brighter Tomorrow.
The 4th Annual Night for a Brighter Tomorrow Gala recognizes the service and community investments of YPL members across Greater Atlanta. This event will serve as a fundraiser for Kids Home Initiative, where we hope to raise more money to bring KHI into more Atlanta communities. The 4th Annual Night for a Brighter Tomorrow Gala will be held Friday, May 3rd on the Rooftop of Ponce City Market, where we expect more than 300 young professionals, executives and community partners to attend.
Join us as some of the most caring young leaders turn their community influence into impact. Join us as we work to ensure our children are well and we’re ending cycles of poverty that prevent communities from thriving.
Candice Dixon is the Director, Corporate Partnership Development at Community Health Charities and a member of United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Young Professional Leaders.