San Diego CA— Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that roughly 40% of San Diego County’s children under age 12 lived below 200% the federal poverty level in 2017. This means more than 190,000 children experienced unequal access to healthy food, stable housing, reliable healthcare, and quality childcare and early education.
To reduce these numbers, community leaders and local nonprofits and organizations have joined forces to form “San Diego for Every Child: The Coalition to End Child Poverty,” with the goal of cutting the experience of childhood poverty in the region in half by 2030.
“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.”
San Diego for Every Child is chaired by community leader Sara Jacobs, who spent the last year developing the initiative and is funding 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,” said Jacobs. “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 coalition will combine three proven strategies to create a functional safety net for children experiencing poverty, regardless of where they live or their family’s income:
- Build a network of supporters to advocate for policy and structural change, and push San Diego’s public and private service sectors to create systems that address childhood poverty.
- Use a common agenda and shared measurements to align efforts across service-sectors, community organizations, schools, government, and philanthropy to expand the reach of effective programs and identify service gaps that need to be filled.
- Elevate the voices of families experiencing poverty and foster new partnerships to brainstorm, design and facilitate collaboration and communication across the county to ensure the effective delivery of resources to those who need them most.
In conjunction with its official launch, San Diego for Every Child is calling on the community at-large to get involved, offering opportunities for learning, volunteering, organizing, providing input, and brainstorming community solutions. Supporters are encouraged to:
- Visit sandiegoforeverychild.org to learn where and how child poverty affects our region.
- Sign up to receive updates on what’s happening in the community and ways to get involved.
- Donate money or other resources – 100% of which will go toward scaling existing programs or designing and piloting new innovative, community-driven solutions to alleviate the experience of child poverty.
- Share this message! Child poverty impacts our entire region, so help San Diego for Every Child build its network of advocates by sharing this effort with neighbors, friends and family. Updates and information can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Whether you’re a parent struggling to make ends meet, an individual who recognizes the importance of supporting all children in our region, a business owner looking to give back to the community, or a nonprofit leader with the resources to get things done – we invite you to join our coalition to combat poverty in our region!”Kim McDougal, Executive Director of YMCA Childcare Resource Service
“We see so many children who go without their most basic needs being met,” said Kim McDougal, Executive Director of YMCA Childcare Resource Service. “Whether you’re a parent struggling to make ends meet, an individual who recognizes the importance of supporting all children in our region, a business owner looking to give back to the community, or a nonprofit leader with the resources to get things done – we invite you to join our coalition to combat poverty in our region!”
Several other organizations have already confirmed their participation and resources to the coalition, including: The 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, Local Initiatives Support Corporation San Diego, National City Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego Hunger Coalition, San Diego Regional EDC, Somali Family Services of San Diego, Universidad Popular California and Youth Will.