Weber Co. gets state grants to help poor kids, fight intergenerational poverty

Saturday , June 23, 2018 - 5:00 AM

OGDEN — Weber County’s efforts to fight intergenerational poverty and unite the varied organizations that work with those in need have yielded results — $150,000 in grant funds geared to aiding kids.

“We have a lot of kids who need that additional support,” said Kate Bideaux, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weber-Davis, who was instrumental in helping secure the grants. “This way we’re able to put some resources with them.”

The grants from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, two at $75,000 each, sprang from county government-led efforts to craft a strategy to fight intergenerational poverty. One of the successful applications, to be used at four grade schools in Roy, came through the Weber County Commission, while the other, to be used at Odyssey Elementary in Ogden, came through United Way of Northern Utah, according to the DWS.

The funds, said County Commissioner James Ebert — who’s been central in county efforts to fight intergenerational poverty — “give us a foundation to continue working on” trying to pull kids and others from the cycle of poverty. The county also plans to apply for a portion of the $1 million state lawmakers earmarked in legislation passed earlier this year for county-led initiatives from across Utah to fight intergenerational poverty.

Utah law earmarks $1M Weber Co. can tap to fight intergenerational poverty

The county efforts focus on working through the varied nonprofit groups that work with the poorest in Weber County and better coordinating their initiatives. Around 10 percent of Weber County kids are living in intergenerational poverty — poverty that extends across generational lines within individual families, according to DWS data.

Bideaux said the $75,000 from the grant sought by the Weber County Commission will be used by the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Weber School District’s Roy Cone Project in Municipal, Lakeview, North Park and Roy elementary schools in Roy. The funds will help hire a caseworker to help kids in poverty, mainly via after-school and summer programming.

The funds from the United Way grant will be used at Odyssey to hire a specialist who will be available to all students at the school and their families, also via after-school and summer programs. All the students at Odyssey are regarded as living in poverty, hence the focus on the school, according to Bideaux.

Ebert called receipt of the grants a “hard-fought, well-deserved win for Weber County.” The two Weber County grant recipients counted among 14 in all granted around the state.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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