Via its community collaborative partners, the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Collaborative offers wrap around services to individuals and families in the following target impact areas: Employment Services, Family Economic Services, Educational Services, Housing Services and Child/Family Services.
Journey to Economic Mobility (JEM) Program
This innovative program provides workforce development, financial literacy, and life skills training. We work to build people’s capacity to thrive in the face of adversity and adapt to challenges. Through digitally delivered curriculum and content, in close collaboration with community partners, we upskill and re-employ people to become economically empowered and support their families while bettering themselves. We produce a unique set of content for clients within this program and refer them to other Collaborative programs for collective impact and success. We also offer case management and wrap-around services through this program for direct participants, which serves to remove barriers to client success. For the thousands of people that the Collaborative serves on an annual basis, including 3,092 in 2020, we create workforce development content that imparts valuable professional skills.
Atlanta Housing (AH) Good Neighbor Program
Through a competitive bid, we won a multi-year renewable fee-for-service contract from Atlanta Housing Authority. Monthly we provide multiple classes and digital self-guided platforms that enable Housing Choice Voucher Participants (HCVP) to maintain compliance with the Federal Department of Housing and Development Section 8 Program. Moreover, our classes allow clients to meet obligations to receive city aid and provide critical financial literacy and parenting training. We are contracted to serve up to 3500 people annually based on Atlanta Housing approval, and this includes a youth component for children 13-17 years old.
Helping our Members in Emergencies (HOME) Program
The HOME program serves families and children faced with emergencies and or urgent situations relating to their housing stability and other unforeseen barriers to housing and family economic success. Funds are used to assist families who need shelter, support to secure housing and move-in funds, or transportation assistance to stabilize to stabilize their living situation and meet their immediate emergency needs. An intake session determines our services to clients to evaluate their needs and barriers to success. We have dispersed nearly $1.6 million. These funds have enabled us to prevent over 550 evictions, make 80 additional late rent payments, make four mortgage payments, reconnect 57 utility services, and nine transportation-related payments. Through funding from the Schusterman Foundation, we sent 500 gift cards in direct cash transfers to those most in need.
United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
Since 2016 we have won a competitive contract from the IRS administered by the United Way of Greater Atlanta to assist low-income earners in filing tax returns, free of charge, to receive federal benefits that they are entitled to, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. Aside from assisting clients in receiving benefits, we save moderate and lower-income families the cost of paying for tax preparation and prevented them from taking out a loan against their own money, which is what they must do to get an ‘instant refund’ through a commercial preparer. Each year we meet our contract goal to serve up to 1500 people, which conservatively results in a cost savings of over $600,000 collectively. This program offers a rich opportunity for programmatic cross-pollination, as we provide financial literacy tools and training to all participants of the VITA program.