A group of nonprofits, community leaders and organizations announced this week they have joined together to create “San Diego for Every Child: The Coalition to End Child Poverty.”
The Center on Policy Initiatives, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the Parent Institute for Quality Education and the YMCA Childcare Resource Service are leading the coalition, which has set the goal of cutting the region’s child poverty rates in half by 2030.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 40% of San Diego County’s children under the age of 12 lived below 200% of the federal poverty level as recently as 2017. What this means is that more than 190,000 local children had unequal access to healthy food, stable housing, reliable healthcare, quality childcare and early education.
“San Diego families are struggling to navigate a confusing network of services and resources, and parents are forced to spend valuable time away from their children while trying to find the right solutions,” said Erin Hogeboom, director of San Diego for Every Child. “By thinking inclusively, collaboratively and strategically, we can collectively redirect our combined energies toward amplifying the solutions we know already work and identifying new ways to address the problem.”
The coalition seeks to accomplish its goals through three strategies. First, building a network of supporters to push for structural change across San Diego’s public and private sectors, next, using a common agenda and clear measurements to align efforts across government, schools and community organizations and last, elevating the voices of families dealing with childhood poverty to find direct solutions to distribute resources more effectively.
Sara Jacobs, a community leader chairing San Diego for Every Child and candidate for California’s 53rd Legislative District seat, developed the initiative and will fund its infrastructure for the next two years.
“In a county as wealthy as San Diego, it is simply unacceptable that so many of our kids are experiencing poverty,” Jacobs said. “It is going to take all of us coming together to tackle this problem. With the ingenuity, innovation and tenacity of our community, we can create a San Diego where all of our kids lead fulfilling and successful lives — ensuring a brighter future for the entire region.”
The initiative is offering volunteering and organizing opportunities for interested members of the public.
Other organizations involved in the coalition include: Chicano Federation of San Diego County; Child Development Associates; Climate Action Campaign; Educational Enrichment Systems, Inc.; End Child Poverty CA; Feeding San Diego; Kitchens for Good; LISC San Diego; National City Chamber of Commerce; San Diego Food Bank; San Diego Housing Commission; San Diego Regional EDC; Somali Family Service of San Diego; Universidad Popular; and Youth Will.
For more information, go to sandiegoforeverychild.org.
–City News Service