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|P.O. Box 2185
E. Saint Louis, IL 62202
Families in public housing face growing challenges. Most have not consistently had employment as a means of income, but welfare reform legislation has eliminated public assistance as a main source of support. Children growing up in welfare-supported homes often do not have employed role models or the know-how to obtain first jobs. They do not know what employers expect and how to plan for education that leads to employment.
Through an array of programs, Griffin Center prepares students for employment and independence from welfare:
Griffin’s Center’s helping hands extend beyond its programs. Staff members provide numerous families with information; referrals; counseling; and direct assistance with rent, utilities, and other basic necessities. The center recognizes children for academic accomplishments, and it provides backpacks, uniforms and school supplies to students who attend school on the opening day through our Project Success: Pack ‘em Back to School program.
Summer Activities Enrich Children’s Lives
In the crowded, hot housing developments, children urgently need structured activities to fill their time. Griffin Center’s free summer day camps keep them out of trouble and busywith positive activities.. In air-conditioned buildings right in the housing developments, the camps provide meals and cultural experiences.
Each week, the campers go on a field trip, often filling two buses. The full-day park and swimming outing gives some respite in the beauty and peacefulness of nature and the coolness of the water as well as expands the children’s vision of the world for many have never been beyond the housing project.
Day camp staff members, as well as regular staff, have been hired from the housing projects.Working at the centers has been empowering for the adults because the children in their developments see them as caring, capable leaders.