DETROIT, December 17, 2008 —— Southwest Solutions’ family literacy project and foreclosure mitigation program have been awarded grants from JPMorgan Chase totaling $186,000 to expand their services.
The family literacy project, run by Southwest Counseling Solutions (SWCS), received $107,000 to fund three programs that serve Hispanic families in southwest Detroit: a highly successful school-based program, an Even Start preschool program, and an evening English as a Second Language (ESL) program.
SWCS will use $57,000 of the grant to open another English Language Learners Family (ELLF) program at Academy of Americas Elementary School. The program helps children and parents improve their reading, writing and speaking skills. It also teaches parents to become full partners in educating their children. Among similar programs across the nation, SWCS’ program has demonstrated the best outcomes in terms of parents supporting their children’s reading and academic success, and expecting them to complete high school and then graduate from college. The additional ELLF program will run in the afternoon and will serve about 25 mothers with children in kindergarten through third grade.
“Our family literacy project is making a significant difference in helping families better their lives through education, and we are deeply appreciative of Chase’s commitment to help us continue and expand this very successful program,” said Joe Tardella, executive director of SWCS.
The foreclosure mitigation program will use the $79,000 Chase grant to add a full-time and two part-time counselors who will assist families facing foreclosure. These counselors will take appointments during and evening and weekend hours, enabling the foreclosure mitigation program to serve an additional 300 clients a year. The program is run by Southwest Housing Solutions’ Housing Opportunity Center.
The grant checks were presented to Southwest Solutions at a breakfast event on December 17 at Academy of Americas. At the event, Chase announced more than $780,000 in grants to 10 non-profit groups in two Detroit neighborhoods. The grants will support educational, community development and arts and culture programs.
“Chase can make the biggest difference in Detroit by focusing our philanthropic efforts in two neighborhoods the North End and Southwest and working closely with key organizations and community leaders there,” said Sarah McClelland, president of Chase in Michigan. “We have been serving both neighborhoods with bank branches since 1933, so we know both their challenges and their potential.”