The Family Scholar House helps families become self-sustaining

MUNCIE, Ind. – Sometimes this column just writes itself.

That usually occurs when I see something that is so teeming with potential that even the humblest writer can explain it. That happened earlier this year when retired Senator Doug Eckerty showed me the work he was doing at the Family Scholar House in Anderson. Its story begs to be told, and there’s no better time than the holiday season to tell it.

Michael Hicks

The Family Scholar House in Anderson is the newest location of an idea that started in Louisville back in 1995. It was started by a group of nuns and now has affiliates in eight states. Their website (https://familyscholarhouse.org/) has a great explanation, but let me tell you what I saw and heard in this novel anti-poverty program.

The Family Scholar House in Anderson targets impoverished single mothers. In the Louisville locations, they also serve some single fathers and young people who have aged out of traditional foster care. The Family Scholar House offers these families a place to live, provided they pursue education. For some, that means completing community college or a certificate. For others, it means finishing college and continuing on to graduate school. Their graduation rate is 88 percent, which would be the pride of any fine university. A whopping 70 percent of graduates are completely off public assistance within three months of leaving the Family Scholar House program.