NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Single Stop USA has received a $1.1 million grant from the groundbreaking Social Innovation Fund via New Profit Inc. to expand its services to additional low-income community college students. The funds will enable Single Stop to help at least 3,000 more students per year overcome financial barriers to stay in school and obtain a degree or certificate.
"We know how to increase economic and social mobility in this country. The solutions exist," Single Stop's CEO Elisabeth Mason said. "What has not existed, until now, is the best way to get those solutions to market. With nearly half of the 12 million community college students dropping out every year, and $65 billion in government resources left unclaimed annually, the Single Stop solution can be a game changer."
Single Stop USA, a national nonprofit organization that promotes economic security and social mobility, currently helps thousands of struggling students in five states – New York, New Jersey, California, New Mexico and Florida – get life-changing benefits and services that help them stay in school through completion. Single Stop will use the New Profit grant to expand its Community College Initiative through current partners, new campuses and partnerships in new states.
By providing students with access to financial resources and crucial services that lessen the non-academic pressures, such as lack of adequate housing, child care, and health insurance, Single Stop helps increase college retention and graduation rates. Single Stop operates by building the capacity of its partners, weaving its program into the financial aid and student services offices of community college systems to foster easy access.
"We are thrilled to be among the first nonprofit innovators to receive an award from the White House's Social Innovation Fund," Mason continued. "This award from New Profit, and the partnership with the Pathways Fund, will help us realize our vision – which is to keep the American Dream alive by repurposing existing government resources to help low-income students stay in school, graduate, and participate in building a prosperous, competitive future for our nation."
Single Stop's services have shown to substantially lower the dropout rate at community colleges. For example, Single Stop participants in New Jersey have only a 36 percent dropout rate, compared to a 62 percent and 52 percent dropout rate for other part-time and full-time students at the same school.
Single Stop began in 2001 as a project of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. Incorporated as a national not-for-profit organization in 2007, Single Stop USA has grown in four years into a major force in building economic security with special emphasis on community colleges.
In 2010, Single Stop and its partners served more than 120,000 families. In partnership with community colleges and community-based organizations ranging from job training centers to food banks, it helped participants access more than $389 million worth of benefits and work supports such as tax credits, food stamps, child care and health insurance, plus free services such as tax preparation, financial counseling and legal advice.
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SOURCE Single Stop USA