ChildThrive! is a collaboration between AmeriCorps, City of Alexandria and policyAmerica working with the families at Brent Place.
Brent Place is home to approximately 108 families, many of whom are foreign born. The complex is a subsidized 14 story apartment building located at 375 South Reynolds Street in Alexandria. It is comprised of 207 apartments consisting of 50 one bedrooms, 105 two bedrooms and 52 three bedrooms. While up to eleven units may be rented without income limitations, at this time all of the households residing at the property have incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income, including a large number of households with income far below that range.
Serious issues with violence and crime have plagued Brent Place for years. In 2010 ChildThrive! was formed. It is a collaboration between AmeriCorps, City of Alexandria and policyAmerica. Since this time ChildThrive! members have been providing on site services and the quality of life and the living environment has significantly improved, especially for the children and youth. In program year 2010-2011 child protective services referrals fell by 33% and crime dropped by 10%. In program year 2011-2012 crime decreased 17%; the child protective services statistics are not yet available.
AmeriCorps is a national service network that provides part-time and full-time service opportunities for participants to serve their communities and build the capacity of organizations to meet local needs in the areas of education, healthy futures, disaster service, clean energy/environment, veterans, and economic opportunity.
Six AmeriCorps members stationed at Brent Place provide family support, recreational and educational activities and crisis intervention to strengthen and enhance the Brent Place community. These activities include groups for youth and adults, academic support for youth and adults, financial literacy classes and a variety of field trips. Activities have included a trip to Great Falls National Park, Wildwood Alpaca Farm, the MLK Memorial, the Museum of African Art, Redskins training camp, George Mason University and a Wizards game.
All donations go directly to support the ongoing programs no monies are expended on administration.