Ground was broken Thursday on the fourth Family Scholar House in Louisville that will serve a large waiting list of 642 single-parent families seeking help toward earning a college degree.
The 19th Century Parkland School is being renovated to serve 48 more local families when it opens next year.
President Cathe Dykstra said for the hundreds of families not in the residential program, the Family Scholar House offers other services to keep families on track to complete their degree.
An applicant must complete certain tasks to become part of the pre-residential program where they’ll have access to resources that Dykstra said will motivate them to continue on their path.
“They have an academic advisor, a case manager, they have peer support workshops, they have opportunities for their children to be involved in activities like toddler book club and family nutrition and wellness,” she said.
Dykstra said Family Scholar House has been growing in the region and around the commonwealth and is looking for new locations where it can expand the residential aspect of the program.
“As long as this need continues to grow, we must stretch and continue to build. I would love to do a fifth one here [Louisville]. We’re going to do one in Carrollton and we’re going to do one in southern Indiana although we haven’t identified a location there yet,” she said.
The Family Scholar House has served nearly 260 families so far, and 81 have earned a degree through the program.
Dykstra said although not everyone earns a degree, there are other measures of success, like the 100 percent of families that have transition into stable housing.
The Parkland House project’s $10.1 million dollar budget received federal, city and private funding.