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Brighton Center's Efforts Attract National Attention

From the Brighton Center:

Nearly one in three people in our region struggle to meet basic needs due to poverty and nearly 200,000 children are growing up in poverty. The federal poverty level for a family of four is 24,000 per year but, self-sufficiency is only possible when that family of four reaches 200%, or $48,000 per year.

“I just wanted to be able to support myself and my kids on my own. I didn’t want to have to depend on anyone else or government assistance.” says Sophia Depenbrock.

To help families like Sophia’s, Brighton Center has built a national network of collaborators and best practices. Through this network the Center has deepened and broadened its work while blending and braiding both funding and services to serve the whole family.

Brighton Center’s partnership with the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) has provided the Center with two opportunities for greater impact.

Through the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) model, Brighton Center piloted a strategy to seamlessly bundle services that are proven to not only stabilize a family in crisis but also lift them out of poverty and on the path to self-sufficiency.

Through the Bridges to Career Opportunities strategy Brighton Center has enhanced skill training and adult education to be a more hands on, real-world experience which directly simulates a job site.

Brighton Center’s innovative practices and success in partnering with families to overcome poverty and reach self-sufficiency has attracted the national attention of funders and organizations such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

“The partnership that Brighton Center develops with families not only integrates services while offering an array of national best practices but also recognizes that families know their situation best and are capable of making decisions that impact their lives.” said Melissa Hall-Sommer, Senior Director of Family Economic Success at Brighton Center.

Today, Sophia lives at Brighton Center’s Northern Kentucky Scholar House, a supportive environment that includes life skills workshops and educational supports for adults enrolled in post-secondary education and an on-site 5 STAR rated child development center where both of her children are thriving. Sophia’s daughter Natalie, who recently started kindergarten, was ahead academically before she even started. Trevor age three is also ahead and has benefited from quality early childhood educational experiences.

For Sophia, the future is looking bright. She just received her Associates Degree and will continue her education with a Bachelor’s degree program in Mortuary Science. After she graduates with her Bachelor’s Degree she plans on using the money she has saved as a result of receiving financial coaching through Brighton Center to put a downpayment on a house.

“They not only gave me a home to live in, but they are also teaching me how to do it on my own. Brighton Center has given me the building blocks to create a foundation that can get me ahead. I am building a future for my kids and me”, Sophia said

To learn more or if you would like to help families like Sophia reach self-sufficiency please visit