NEWTON, Mass., May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A little known non-profit organization operates behind the scenes to help at-risk and foster children across Massachusetts access the missing resources they urgently need. But this grassroots initiative not only helps these underserved children and families build better futures, it also saves the state's taxpayers millions of dollars every year, a study by a Boston-University based consultancy shows.
One Can Help's efforts to reduce the need for foster care, and provide emergency assistance with shelter, transportation, school and basic needs saved taxpayers between $9,419,989 and $11,436,510 in 2017, according to 180 Degrees Consulting.
The savings consisted of approximately:
- $6.8 million in foster care costs avoided by keeping children with their families or returning children to their families sooner. Foster care costs the state an estimated $29 per child per day.
- $2 million to $4 million in court costs avoided by helping to reduce no-shows and shorten juvenile justice and child-welfare cases. Every court hour costs the state an estimated $857 in professional time.
- $850,000 in costs related to homelessness, child care, mental health issues, recidivism and dropping out of school.
Poverty interferes with basic needs, stable lives
Other examples of cost-effective One Can Help assistance include train and bus tickets, utility payments, after-school activity fees, laptops for school, and emergency food and clothing cards.
One Can Help was created by juvenile court attorneys who saw how the lack of resources was impacting their neediest child clients, and decided to do something about it. "Truancy, joblessness and court-related problems are largely inextricable from the instability that comes with poverty," said Anne Bader-Martin, One Can Help founder, president and executive director. "Every day, we at One Can Help witness how modest, targeted assistance can move a family forward before a crisis becomes a catastrophe for the state. Although this work is first about helping children and families, as this study shows, it's a great deal for taxpayers."
Modest grant ensures family's independence
Mara was a mother in crisis last fall. "I was stunned to find myself on the streets with three young kids and no place to stay," she said. "We couldn't go home because of a domestic violence situation. One Can Help stepped up with $1,000 to help us get into affordable housing. That's all it took to get our lives back on track."
In addition to providing the family with a home, stability and peace of mind, the $1,000 grant from One Can Help likely saved the state thousands of dollars it would have cost to house the family in a homeless shelter. In Massachusetts the average family temporary stay in a shelter costs $13,389. Mara reports that her children are excelling in school, and she has begun a career of helping other trauma victims.
About the review
"Report: One Can Help and Positive Financial Externalities for the State" was produced by Boston University 180 Degrees Consulting, the world's largest university-based consultancy. Run by students, 180 Degrees Consulting selects top university students who believe that improving organizations can make a meaningful difference to the people those organizations serve.
About One Can Help
Since 2006, One Can Help has helped more than 5,000 parents and children in crisis stay connected with their families, succeed in school, get job training, overcome substance abuse, pay for child care and more—so they can begin to rebuild their lives. It is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing the missing resources at-risk and foster children need to improve their lives. Many former clients not only make significant strides toward becoming responsible adults and citizens, but are also inspired by the help they received to give back to others who struggle as they once did. www.onecanhelp.org. Ninety-five percent of donations to One Can Help directly help children and families in need.
SOURCE One Can Help