Why KU Matters – Overcoming Adversity

Our Kids:
• 55% of Kids Unlimited youth are Latino/Hispanic
• 90 % of Kids Unlimited participants live below the Federal Poverty level
• 62% are single parent households

squal1Overcoming the Odds

Basic Needs: hunger and housing

  • Food insecurity can damage children’s health and brain development years before they enter a classroom. By kindergarten, food-insecure children often are cognitively, emotionally and physically behind their food-secure peers. (Children’s Health Watch Research Brief 2011)
  • The area surrounding the Kids Unlimited Youth Center and the Kids Unlimited Academy charter school has been designated as a “Food Desert” due to reliance on corner markets for healthy foods (ACCESS, Inc.)
  • Nearly 43% of children in households at or below the poverty line report food insecurity
  • Liberty Park neighborhood has consistently been cited as one of the poorest neighborhoods in Medford with sub-standard housing, high crime rates, drug trafficking, substance abuse, gang activity, domestic violence and prostitution (Housing and Urban Development at federal level, City of Medford Police Department and Children First for Oregon)
Looking toward the future of KU expanded campus

Looking toward the future of KU expanded campus

Failing Public Education:

  • Oregon ranks 5th from the bottom of all 50 states in the US for total graduation rates (U.S. Department of Education)
  • Only 56% of students in poverty graduate from a Medford public high schools (U.S. Department of Education)
  • Only 50.75% of Latino students graduate from a Medford public high school within a 4 year cohort (U.S. Department of Education)
  • Children and families of poverty are disproportionately represented in High School dropout and Criminal Justice Systems
  • Latinos make up 1/3 of all low wage working parents in Oregon and only 5% of the high wage workers. (Children First for Oregon: 2015 Status of Oregon’s Children County Data Book)
  • 92% of the children in poverty in Oregon live in a household where no parent holds a Bachelor’s degree. (Children First for Oregon: 2015 Status of Oregon’s Children County Data Book)
  • 45% of students with Latino Ancestry have one or more parents who are linguistically isolated. (Children First for Oregon: 2015 Status of Oregon’s Children County Data Book)
Community effort to eradicate graffiti

Community effort to eradicate graffiti

Crime and Gangs:

  • Family socio-economic (poverty) status is a strong predictor of serious and violent delinquency (Juvenile
    Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report; US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)
  • Among dropouts between the ages of 16-24, incarceration rates were 63 times higher than among college graduates (“The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School” http://www.northeastern.edu)
  • Jackson County has been designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (City of Medford Police Department Annual Report 2014)
  • Racial composition of gangs is 60% Hispanic (Jackson County Juvenile Department Statistics 2014-2015)
  • 95% of known gang members are between ages 13-25 (Jackson County Juvenile Department Statistics 2014-2015)
  • Gang activity has continued to increase over the past 5 years (Jackson County Juvenile Department Statistics 2014-2015)

Demolition of blighted houses will lead the way to a Promise Neighborhood

– Mail Tribune Newspaper