Economic Impact Report 2020
Breaking the cycle of generational poverty is challenging even for the most qualified in the field. At Building Bridges of Oklahoma we let quantitative and qualitative data, along with strong community support, help bridge the gap for many families in our community. The results of such an effort gains an economic impact of over $2 million annually and growing. Calculating the cost of supporting a child in poverty is easier to establish than the economic impact for adults. The latest PEW Report shows 10.5 million children living in poverty at a total cost just shy of $408 billion. Bridging even one child at $38,857 every year has a long lasting impact for generations to come.
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At Building Bridges, we strive for complete transparency. There is one dashboard indicator that troubles many across the nation. What is the real economic impact when an adult bridges out of poverty? In complete transparency, we used $22,740 per year from the Federal Safety Network on statistics. Many adults have worked hard over the years and have reaped the benefits of finding a career path they enjoy, graduating with a degree, homeownership, and most importantly a boost to their self confidence and self-esteem. Their hard work has a significant impact on our economy at $1,250,700 per year and growing. Many experts, myself included, feel the number grossly understates the economic impact poverty has within communities. It does not take into consideration the economic impact of individuals entering into the workforce, revenue generated, etc. We err on the side of caution by understating rather than overinflating. We went with the most conservative figure published and feel confident with the outcome.
Building Bridges started as a pilot project in July 2009. Six months later we had our first glimpse of data that far exceeded our wildest expectations. By 2020, families in Building Bridges increased their earned income compacity to over $1.1 million a year. Together we can make a difference in revitalizing our community.
Decrease in welfare benefits are directly linked to families bridging and moving above the federal poverty guidelines. Here at Building Bridges, we strive to help families move from working a minimum wage job into finding their career paths. Moving adults off of subsidy saves $24,000 - $41,000 annually. Dollars given to our program breaks the cycle for generations to come.
Bridging the gap with payday loans will take a community effort. In 2009, Bartlesville had two payday loan centers. In 2020, we now have over 27 payday loans all owned by two individuals who are in every state across the Central Plains. Interest rates range from 56.9% to 780% online.
Thanks to Truity Credit Union's Microloan Program, we have been able to stay up with the growth of a community-wide predator for now. Tens of millions of dollars leave our community yearly in high interest rates, trapping families in a viscous cycle that most cannot break in their life time. Policies will need to be implemented to reverse the devastation to our economy.
High Interest debt can include credit cards, rent-to-own furniture, electronics, and even cell phones.
As Building Bridges scales to reach more families, our team uses innovative approaches and data driven techniques to reduce high interest debt. On average we see an 84% reduction in high interest debt.
Strategies help reduce depression, suicidal ideation, hopelessness, stress, anxiety, and poor health outcomes while instilling confidence, trust, hope, financial freedom and stability. Together we can make a difference by reducing high interest debt in our community.
The growing healthcare costs have been an issue for many Americans across the nation. Families at Building Bridges have struggled over the years to find full time employment that offers affordable health insurance. On a tight budget earning below the standard living wage can make it impossible to obtain. High impact strategies have allowed families to pay off medical debt, fewer garnishments coming through the court systems, and a cost savings to healthcare systems by establishing continuity of care for adults and children. Families no longer use the ER for general medical issues due to lack of coverage. Families have paid off $217,730 in medical debt. We still have a ways to go. However, we are heading in the right direction!
Strong partnerships with our post secondary institutions have been a life line for families trying to establish financial stability. Professional educators know there are crucial times during childhood to establish vital pathways for success. For families living in extreme poverty, often survival for fundamental needs puts an additional strain on family structures, impacting a child's success in school. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs provides a model that demonstrates the basic necessities needed to obtain stability and an overall sense of security in life. Add in language disparities, unhealthy support structures, health and food disparities, growing generational incarceration rates, and in some cases addictions, can set many children up for failure before they even reach kindergarten. High impact strategies help move families on a positive continuum for success. Building Bridges of Oklahoma is proud to announce that in 2020, 49 % of our families went on to post secondary education with 30% completing either a four year degree program or specialized training programs. Education, healthy support systems, relationship building, and language enrichment programs are just a few strategies offered to equip families with valuable skill sets to obtain a future horizon full of hope and possibilities. The economic impact offers hope for our families and our community.