Guilford Success Network partners with residents to advance economic mobility
The Guilford Success Network (GSN) officially launched this spring. GSN is a county-wide, mobile friendly network in Greensboro, North Carolina, that connects people to services and coordinators who help them advance personal goals of becoming financially stable. MDC facilitated the community-based design and build of the network, which flips the traditional service delivery model from “fitting people into programs” to instead partnering with residents to develop their own goals and household plans. The network then connects households to nonprofit and public services that empower community residents to achieve economic stability. The network uses a proven approach that triples to quadruples the odds that households will achieve major economic outcomes such as increased levels of education, employment, income, and financial stability. MDC looks forward to learning alongside GSN partners as the network gets up and running.
Putting people first for equitable and effective social service delivery
An estimated one in six Southerners lives below the federal poverty line. The likelihood of Southerners moving out of poverty into a higher income bracket is slim, particularly for people of color. In MDC’s home community of Durham, North Carolina, the median household income at age 35 for children who grew up in low-income families is $37,000 for whites, $35,000 for Hispanics/Latinos, and $24,000 for Blacks and American Indians. Clearly, the traditional systems for moving people up and out of poverty aren’t working.
In March, MDC hosted a webinar about Build Up, MDC’s initiative to design and build Integrated Services Delivery (ISD) Networks throughout the South. ISD Networks “flip” the traditional services model of “fitting people into programs” and instead use ISD to plan with—and wrap services around—people and their families to help them achieve major economic outcomes. These include increased levels of education, employment, income, and financial stability—social determinants of health that drive upward economic mobility. Watch the webinar to see how ISD Networks put people first in service delivery to end the cycle of poverty.
MDC Senior Program Director Ralph Gildehaus talks about integrated services delivery on a March webinar
MDC launches North Carolina Student Debt Relief Coalition
Student loan debt comprises the largest percentage of non-mortgage debt held by Southerners, likely because of the rising cost of education, unrestricted loan borrowing, and low returns to credentials in the labor market. Insights like this were shared in MDC’s State of the South webinar to raise awareness about the inequitable burden of student debt on Southerners. In the weeks following the webinar, MDC hosted an interest meeting for the nascent North Carolina Student Debt Relief Coalition (NC-SDRC). NC-SDRC is designed to empower member organizations to share timely and accurate information about student debt relief opportunities with their constituents, to connect member organizations to advocacy efforts to reduce student debt and make postsecondary education more affordable, and to share real stories about the impacts of both student debt and debt relief to build support for equitable access to education. MDC continues to recruit new members as the coalition takes shape. We’re also happy to talk with individuals and organizations interested in organizing similar coalitions in other Southern states.
MDC Rural Forward Partnership Manager Sabrina Golling talks about student debt relief on a May webinar
Welcome, Harrison Dale, Program Administrator for Economic Security and Mobility
Harrison Dale joined MDC as a Program Administrator for Economic Security and Mobility this spring. Harrison has a passion for social and racial justice, equity, and economic mobility and has previously served as a deposition clerk for a private law firm, a middle school educator in North Carolina public schools, and as a certified Sexual Assault Advocate in the state of Texas. We are excited to have Harrison on board!