DALLAS (October 1, 2019) – Wells Fargo announced a $100,000 donation to After8toEducate (“After8”) at an exclusive construction tour of the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center, a former Dallas ISD elementary school in Fair Park being repurposed as a safe haven for homeless youth. The contribution will help the public-private collaborative renovate the second, residential phase of the project, which opened a Drop-In Center in June this year.
“The Fannie C. Harris Youth Center is an innovative, high-potential solution to address the complex issue of youth homelessness,” said Scott Wallace, Wells Fargo’s Region Bank President for Greater Dallas. “Wells Fargo is investing in After8toEducate’s capital campaign to help speed the completion of this project and create a pathway to stability for these students.”
With the addition of the Wells Fargo donation, After8 has raised $2.8 million toward its $4 million campaign to bring emergency and transitional housing to the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center. This final phase will complete the vision for a first-of-its kind, public-private center providing shelter and social services to homeless high school students under one roof. After8toEducate is managing the collaborative, which includes Dallas ISD, Promise House, CitySquare and Social Venture Partners Dallas.
“In any given school year, there are more than 100 unsheltered high school students in Dallas ISD, meaning they could be living in a car or under a bridge,” said Billy Lane, Interim Executive Director of After8toEducate. “Our collaborative’s goal is to reduce the number of high school students facing homelessness, help them get on a path toward self-sufficiency and support them so they have better life outcomes and avoid chronic adult homelessness.”
Guests at the construction tour were greeted by members of the Lincoln High School Marching Band and cheerleaders from Woodrow Wilson High School. After visiting the Drop-In Center, guests toured the 20,000-square-foot residential services area now under renovation. The second phase of the project will include emergency and transitional housing in a modern, dorm-style environment for up to 35 beds for youth ages 14-21. Promise House, a nonprofit with 35 years of experience serving and housing homeless youth, will provide round-the-clock, trauma-informed support and supervision.
The Fannie C. Harris Youth Center also includes a Drop-In Center, operated by CitySquare’s Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC), which has been serving homeless youth aging out of foster care for more than 15 years. Since the Drop-In Center opened this summer, homeless youth have turned there for a safe place to eat, shower, study and store belongings, as well as for a range of personalized support services, from academic tutoring and job training to mental health and family reunification services.
The Fannie C. Harris Youth Center is located at 4212 E. Grand Ave. in the Fair Park area of Dallas. The center is accessible by DART Bus and DART Rail.
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 4,000. Its mission is to create a comprehensive solution that assists Dallas ISD high school students and other homeless youth to develop academically, emotionally and socially. Formed through Social Venture Partners Dallas, the organization harnesses the strengths of Dallas ISD and nonprofit agencies Promise House and CitySquare. For more information or to donate, go to www.after8toeducate.com.