Studies show that in Massachusetts, an individual seeking a family-supporting job must not only have a high school degree, but must also have at least some post-secondary education and be proficient in the English language. In keeping with these findings, the Smith Family Foundation supports a variety of organizations that focus on helping low-income individuals gain the skills they need to move up the economic ladder and experience greater opportunity.
English for Speakers of Other Languages
The Smith Family Foundation’s grantmaking in the area of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is focused on expanding educational and employment opportunities for English language learners in ways that lead to either higher education or a family-supporting job. The Foundation also seeks to build capacity across multiple ESOL providers to develop successful employer partnerships that expand ESOL instruction in the workplace. Grants in this area are by invitation only.
Support Services for Formerly Homeless Individuals
The Smith Family Foundation has supported Massachusetts’ Housing First effort by helping key homeless service providers reorganize, deepen, and expand their support services aimed at helping newly housed, particularly vulnerable individuals succeed in permanent housing and achieve greater health and stability. Studies have shown that helping individuals move directly from the streets to permanent housing with support, treatment and referral services, without requiring treatment as a prerequisite, is an efficient and humane care delivery system that can result in reduced homelessness, better mental and physical health for those most at risk, and overall lower costs to society. Grants in this area are by invitation only.