A Neighborhood in Need
The Wynn Family lives in Dove Springs, an Austin neighborhood that is southeast of the intersections of I-35 and Ben White, near the airport.
The Dove Springs community has a unique set of needs and relies heavily on community services. In fact, one out of every five individuals in Dove Springs uses SNAP to meet their food needs.
of Dove Springs relies on SNAP for food needs
Anisha and David Wynn are the proud parents of four children, Kayla (13,) D’Maree (8,) D’Maya (5) and De’Ana (3.)
To support their family, Anisha and David both work full-time for The City of Austin, each logging as many as 60-hours-per-week. However, making ends meet can still be a challenge.
In Austin, a family of four has to make an average of fifty thousand dollars per year just to break even. With the expenses of groceries, rent, child care, car insurance and gas, this family of five has an even tighter budget and there’s rarely enough at the end of the month to save.
UWATX Connects Families to Resources
Anisha and David worry about what a lack of fiscal security could mean for them in the long run, and what they’ll do if an emergency occurs. Many Austin families, much like the Wynns, are only a few unexpected expenses away from falling behind on their bills. Should a car break down or a child become injured, they may be unable to recover financially.
Fortunately, they both work at companies where UWATX provides financial education courses through Financial Opportunity. By taking these courses, they’ll be able to work on reducing debt and begin to develop a savings fund for their family.
The Wynns know that having a safeguard for their children’s health is a priority. Anisha reaches out to the Navigation Center by calling 2-1-1 each year to make sure that they’re signed up for CHIP, the children’s version of Medicaid, so that they can qualify for medical treatment.
The registration process can be arduous, often taking weeks to ensure that all the necessary documents have been submitted and that the paperwork has been processed and approved. Our Navigation Specialists are instrumental in connecting The Wynns to the services that they need and are able walk Anisha through each step of the application, making it a less overwhelming process.
Setting Children Up for Success
De’Ana and D’Maya, the youngest Wynn daughters, attend a high-quality early child care center supported by our Success By 6 program and receive mentoring, mental health support and low- or no-cost health care to ensure they start out ready for school. They’ll be part of the only 13 percent of low-income children in Austin who begin school ready to learn.
D’Maree, their older brother, will enter middle school in just a few short years. Many low-income students begin to fall behind and make poor choices during this time, but if D’Maree attends Mendez Middle School he’ll benefit from our system of support services, plus the fun and enriching afterschool activities that will help him stay on the path to graduation.
Students spend the majority of their time (76 percent) outside of school. Anisha and David want their son to make the best choices with his time so he has a greater opportunity to succeed in life. Participating in mentoring, tutoring and other activities that are a part of our Target Graduation program can help him do just that.
Across greater Austin, there are thousands of families just like the Wynns who are struggling. With the support of the community, we are able to remove barriers to economic opportunity so that these families can thrive.