Thank you, Kate Rushton ! I checked out the Jeremiah Program and I'll be reaching out to their team to set up a conversation. Our team is also due to take a trip to Chicago to check out Urban Prep Academy; I think we'll make time to try to connect with Chicago-LIFT as well. Very grateful for the suggestions!
Please pardon my egregious delay in responding to you--our organization transitioned immediately from the school year to summer programming and it's been quite hectic these past few weeks. I will be sure to email you everything you requested.
As for the types of organizations we'd like to connect with, our wish list starts with Airbnb in San Francisco, HomeMatch SF in San Francisco, and Urban Prep Academy in Chicago, IL. Airbnb has weathered a number of political storms around third-party impacts on the housing market and we believe they could be a great thought-partner around compliance issues with city/state/federal fair housing laws. HomeMatch SF is a city-funded organization that is connected with the Northern California Presbyterian Church and is currently matching low- to middle-income professionals with existing homeowners in neighborhoods across the city. Their experience with selecting/vetting tenants would be great to learn from in-depth--we've engaged them in a brief meet-and-greet conversation in the early stages of the development of this idea. Lastly, Urban Prep Academy is one of the best (if not THE best) independent school structure at educating and accelerating the student demographic we target as an organization (boys of color) with the demographic of teacher that we'd also like to target as desired candidates for the workforce housing connection (men of color). Their experience in development of pedagogy, culture, and surgical recruitment of teacher candidate "unicorns" (Black and Latino men represent less than 2% and 3% of the teaching population, respectively) would be a great guiding light for our initiative.
Thank you, OpenIDEO ! We definitely appreciate the feedback on our project. I will respond in brief here, but will also update our text section above (and make sure the user map gets uploaded this time!):
Given that this is a decades-long issue--boys of color performing at the bottom of the stack in American schools--I don't think we have the luxury of claiming what is "best," to be completely candid. There have been many more intelligent, resourced, and talented people that have tried to tackle this issue in communities across the country that look like Bayview Hunter's Point. What we have the benefit of in San Francisco right now, however, is timing. This timing is lays at the intersection of a number of happenings: state/city-wide teacher shortage, a seemingly inescapable housing crisis for low- to middle-income residents, political will to spend money equitably, a building owner willing to take a risk, a major neighborhood stabilization campaign initiated by a city/county entity (SF Public Utilities Commission), an incoming African American district superintendent, an African American President of the SFUSD school board, an African American President of the Board of Supervisors, a budding cross-sector partnership of African American and Latino community-based organizations, and vastly improved relationships for our organization at the hyper-local school-site level for our neighborhoods elementary schools. We will track success by the only metric that matters: student achievement gains (and we can add specifics above). We've gotten excellent feedback in the past week about how our educational and community engagement models can improve this coming school year that I will add above. We've also gotten very helpful guidance on making this a sustainable intervention for our students and the elementary schools that serve them.
Looking forward to the improve phase and adding more to this. Thank you very much for the opportunity to network and learn from this global community about how to make better impacts locally. Talk soon!