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3.13 Debra Krittenbrink
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  • 1. Bridges<br />Serving Homeless High School Students<br />Who we are:<br />Community collaborative: Norman Public Schools, Norman Housing Authority, City of Norman, civic clubs, faith-based groups<br />Education-focused<br />Require accountability from students<br />How we got here:<br />Grassroots start w/ school counselors and Norman Public Schools<br />Pulled in city officials, Norman Housing Authority and Section 8 housing<br />Included Rotary clubs, civic clubs and faith-based organizations<br />Worked with police chief to educate police force<br />Engaged business community w/ scholarships and mentoring<br />What we do:<br />Provide apartments with sliding-scale rent based on income<br />Work through relationships and strength-building<br />Develop a culture of education<br />Teach access to services<br />Make counseling available<br />Offer mentors who set up job shadows, college visits<br />Require lifeskills<br />Establish incentive-based savings account for each student<br />Offer college scholarships<br />Where the rubber meets the road: outcomes <br />(complete stats have only been maintained for the last 4 of our 16 years.)<br />May 2008 – May 2011:<br /># of students grades 9-12 served240<br />Number of graduating seniors59<br />% of Bridges seniors going on to higher education89%<br />% of Oklahoma seniors going on to higher education 58%<br />Survey of 75 former students 1998-2001:<br />We located 75 former students from 1998-2001 by randomly calling contact numbers or looking them up online. These students were a mix of those who graduated from our program and those who, for some reason, left the program, either voluntarily or because they were not meeting school requirements and were asked to leave. <br />We found that 22% of the students who left our program still went on to graduate from a four-year college, compared to 50% of those we graduated from the Bridges program. Further, 30% of the non-graduates were renting apartments or homes without public assistance, compared to 41% of our graduates, and another 29% of the graduates owned their own homes, compared to none of the non-graduates. This is anecdotal evidence that our program not only is the right thing to do, but it makes fiscal sense in terms of reducing the number of young adults who are dependent on the social service system in Norman.<br />Debra Krittenbrink<br />Executive Director<br /><br />405.579.9280<br /> <br />