Hope for a good education is elusive for youth without stable homes

A future without a strong education is bleak, especially in today’s increasingly competitive world. We know that there are plenty of challenges facing the education system, but there’s a massive barrier that stands in the way of many children’s educations: a lack of stable housing.

In our latest issue of What Funders Need to Know, we look at the relationship between housing and educational outcomes. According to the MacArthur Foundation, for example:

Among the various possibilities tested, poor housing quality was the most consistent and strongest predictor of emotional and behavioral problems in low income children and youth. It also had a sizable association with school performance among older youth.

Unstable housing and youth homelessness is a massive problem in our region. So, what can funders do to ensure that children have stable homes and a real shot at academic success? Check out What Funders Need to Know: Educational Outcomes and the Relationship to Housing.

– In the fourth part of its Liens, Loss, and Profiteers investigative series, the Post looks at Aeon Financial. It’s a firm that has threatened foreclosure on more than 1,900 local properties – the most aggressive firm out there, according to the article. But here’s a twist that should make your blood boil (WaPo, 12/9):

[The firm] lists no owners, no local office, no Web site.

Aeon Financial is incorporated in Delaware, operates from mail-drop boxes in Chicago and is represented by a law firm with an address at a 7,200-square-foot estate on a mountainside near Vail, Colo.

Aeon’s story underscores how an obscure tax lien company — backed by large banks and savvy lawyers — can move from city to city with little government scrutiny, taking in millions from distressed homeowners.

– How Should D.C. Recoup Affordable Housing Funds? (CP, 12/6)

– In conversations about food insecurity, poverty, and health, the quality of food is a hot topic. Conventional wisdom says that unhealthy food is cheaper – and that’s technically true. But the difference between eating healthful and unhealthful diets is “chump change” according to a new study. It’s only $1.50 a day. (NPR, 12/6)

– Double-bottom lines are the best! A program designed by a chef and a former government official matches SNAP funds dollar-for-dollar if the recipients buy healthy food from local markets. Line one: low-income individuals eat better and more. Line two: local farmers get increased business. The Atlantic looks at the model with a case study of a local woman. (Atlantic, 12/6)

POLITICS | Susie Cambria has launched a really awesome new blog that collects media hits for D.C. mayoral candidates. It’s a great way to see all the coverage – and whether it is equal and fair. There are about 173 candidates, so this will be a useful tool as the race gears up.

ARTS | D.C. supports the arts – when it has time to do so (WBJ, 12/9) This is interesting, though the survey sample size is tiny.

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion – Anointing Philanthropists as Social Change Leaders: Pro or Con? (NPQ, 12/9)

What do the implosions of Redskins coaches Norv Turner, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn, and Mike Shanahan have in common? This guy. It’s very frustrating to expect great things every season and then have our hopes crushed.

Speaking of hopes, Bruce Springsteen released a single from a new album – High Hopes. Unlike Sny…um, He Who Must Not Be Named, Springsteen delivers the goods with genre-bending excitement.

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