This year, United Way for Greater Austin is utilizing this day of awareness–and the weeks leading up to it–to highlight a community we care deeply about: St. John’s neighborhood in northeast Austin. We need your help to #AmplifyStJohns from March 5th at 6 p.m. to March 6th at 6 p.m.
St. John’s is host to Webb Middle School in which a whopping 97% of students are economically disadvantaged. We invest $309,000 annually in Webb in order to better the lives of these students and their families through mentoring, tutoring, summer programs and case management, along with other services through our Target Graduation program. Last year, we provided these services to 76% of the students at Webb.
Webb Middle School students are only a small portion of the economically disadvantaged youth in St. John’s. In fact, 60% of all children in the St. John’s neighborhood live in poverty. This percentage has an even greater impact when compared to the number of Austinites in general living in poverty: 38%. St. John’s residents of every age group are more likely to be living in poverty or to be low-income than overall City of Austin residents.
The St. John’s community lacks many of the tools they need in order to help themselves. More than half of the residents in this neighborhood are Hispanic, and 48% of residences are headed up by a single parent. Many residents reach out to our Navigation Center to find assistance, but the community still has a relatively low percentage of residents that actually receive SNAP food assistance (15 percent), likely because they are unaware of benefits, unable to complete the long process to apply and maintain benefits or the fact that offices that assist with enrollment typically keep inflexible 9-5 business hours which is problematic for people who are not able to take time off of work.
By choosing United Way for Greater Austin as your Amplify Austin beneficiary this year, you are investing in your city–specifically, in our neighbors who need it most. Your donation can help us expand our programs to reach more children, individuals and families, and therefore help us break the cycle of poverty in this neighborhood as well as the rest of Greater Austin. Please donate to UWATX on Amplify Austin Day this year, and your gift will have an impact that is part of something much bigger.