DALLAS (July 12, 2018) – After8toEducate, a ground-breaking initiative working to improve the lives of homeless Dallas-area students, announced today that it has received a $500,000 grant in support of its mission from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation. The gift, the largest in the organization’s brief history, will match dollarfor-dollar up to the half-million maximum commitment. These funds will be raised during the designated period that is now through November 30, 2018.
The grant is a tremendous boost to After8toEdcuate, which is a first-of-its-kind, public-private collaborative to provide shelter and social services at one location to unsheltered Dallas ISD high school students and other homeless youth ages 14-21. The organization is managing the collaborative which includes the Dallas Independent School District and two prominent local nonprofits, Promise House and CitySquare.
“We are extremely excited and grateful for the support by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation,” said Hillary Evans, After8toEducate’s executive director. “This gift, contingent on matching funds, makes a powerful statement that this collaboration is important. The planned programs are vital and valuable to the many homeless youth in Dallas who desperately need our help.”
Community outreach for the matching fund campaign is in place immediately, given the November 30th deadline. “The Rainwater gift is a phenomenal investment to kickstart this match campaign. Now it’s up to us and the community at large to reach that maximum potential by the set deadline. The people of Dallas care about their youth, and we believe they will support this necessary and worthwhile cause.”
After8toEducate previously reported raising over a half-million dollars towards a $2 million-dollar capital fundraising goal. With Rainwater’s $500,000 investment, plus matching funds, After8 will be three-quarters of the way closer to reaching this goal. After8 is seeking community support. Every contribution counts, no matter the size, and will allow After8 to open its doors this fall.
Last year, After8toEducate received unanimous support from the DISD school board to repurpose the former Fannie C. Harris Elementary School, an abandoned school building in South Dallas as the center for these services.
This facility, being renovated and opening in phases, will initially provide immediate assistance to homeless youth ages 14-21 through a drop-in center slated to open this fall. Planned services will range from personal development assistance, such as academic tutoring and job training, to offering basic daily life needs such as a place to shower and eat. In spring 2019, the facility will operate 24/7, opening the shelter component that will provide shelter and social services to Dallas ISD unsheltered high school students. The after-hours aspect is needed since most social service providers close their doors after regular business hours, leaving thousands of youth without a place to go after 8 p.m.
While many people may know of the increasing homeless population of adults in downtown Dallas, few are aware of the alarming and growing number of homeless young people throughout the city. Current estimate are that at least 3,500 students in the DISD system are homeless.
Donations to this matching fund drive can be made directly online at: https://after8toeducate.com.
After8toEducate is the first-of-its-kind, public-private collaborative to support and provide essential services to unsheltered Dallas ISD high school students and other homeless youth ages 14-21. Founded by Texas businessman and philanthropist Jorge Baldor in May 2017, the organization launched in response to the growing number of homeless students in the Dallas Independent School District, currently estimated to be more than 3,500, and alarmingly still increasing. Its mission is to create a comprehensive solution that assists DISD high school students and other homeless youth to develop academically, emotionally, and socially. Formed through the Social Venture Partners Dallas and harnessing the strengths of DISD and nonprofit agencies Promise House and CitySquare, the organization will open and operate an after-hours drop-in center this fall in South Dallas, where homeless youth can find refuge and a place to study, eat, shower, and access other immediate support services. The shelter component will open next providing sleeping rooms and other social services for DISD unsheltered high school youth. For more information or to donate, go to https://after8toeducate.com.