Lincoln Grant Scholar House seeks to help single parents obtain post-secondary degrees

05/11/2017 03:20 PM

COVINGTON – For many financially struggling single parents the goal of creating a better life for themselves and their children through post-secondary education becomes an unobtainable dream because of the realities of high rent with current low paying jobs, and being able to juggle the time to take the number of classes to earn a degree.

The Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission is looking to change outcomes for some single parents and their children by providing a viable outlet for parents to work on obtaining a degree without worrying about any financial burdens and providing the family with a stable place to live while the parent is working to obtain a degree.

The Lincoln Grant Scholar House, which opened earlier this year in Covington, provides affordable housing and supportive services for parents seeking post-secondary education as a full time student.

Lincoln Grant Scholar House Director Shellie Baker says the main purpose of the program is giving single low-income parents the opportunity to complete work on a post-secondary degree which will hopefully lead to a better paying job and more stability for the family.

“The idea of the Scholar House model is for single parents, male, female, grandparents, aunts, as long as you have custody of a child under the age of 18 and in school, and then the guardian must be in school as well in higher education, full-time enrollment and they must maintain a 2.0 GPA.” Baker said.

All residents go through a Section 8 process in determining what their monthly rent payment will be, which could be anywhere between zero and $650 a month.

One beneficiary of the Lincoln Grant Scholar House is Dixie Zehoin, who moved to Northern Kentucky from North Carolina 4 months ago with her 8-year-old special needs daughter Hannah.

Living at the Scholar House, has allowed Zehoin to pursue her dream of earning a post-secondary degree in psychology and counseling without the pressures that she was under in North Carolina.

“My rent for a 2-bedroom apartment was $975 a month, and it was too expensive, and it was too hard to keep doing it on my own,” Zehoin said.

The stability of living at the Scholar House has been beneficial to Hannah as well who has autism.

“It was hard for her to go from one place to the other, to the other, and she’s starting to even out again at school, so it’s going good,” Zehoin said.

It was a group effort to get the initial funding for the rehab project.

The Kentucky Housing Cooperation, Marian Development, the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, PNC Bank and the city of Covington worked to come up with housing tax credits, and with that money, they were able to totally rehab the building which had been vacant for 20 years.

On-going funding will consist of fundraising, grants and the rent that the residents pay.

The Lincoln Grant Scholar House is modeled after the Family Scholar House which operates four campuses throughout Louisville housing 215 families.

To apply, or if you know of a potential candidate, contact the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission at 859-655-2987 or email khawkins@nkcac.org.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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