The Problem Being the Solution

Micah House was blessed to be the subject of a PHD thesis of Brad Mason, Ed.D., Director of Human Resources for Redlands Unified School District. He studied the Micah House program for over two years, and examined it from all perspectives, interviewing the church leadership, the program director, all City Council Members, the Mayor, Police Chief, program volunteers from Trinity Church, program volunteers (students) from the University of Redlands and others to gain perspective as to their motivation to work with or support the Micah House. He also attended Micah House many times observing the interactions of the adults associated with the program working with the clients/children they served. His detailed and scholarly work outlines the problem of “At-Risk” youth and our solution in a way we could not do ourselves. We are grateful to him for his dedication to his study of the Micah House and his career commitment to youth through education, currently as the Director of Human Resources for the Redlands Unified School District where most of our children attend school.

Here is an excerpt of his Qualitative Study Titled: Teen Center: A Qualitative Study Examining the Developmental Process and Adult Stakeholder Perceptions of an After-school, Church-based Program Targeting the Academic and Social Needs of At-risk Youth.

Statement of the Problem
At-risk children continue to struggle disproportionately in academic and social areas when compared with their fellow students who live at a higher socioeconomic status (SES). The harsh reality is that at-risk children are likely to experience: a lack of educational success, a decreased earning potential, and an increased likelihood of criminal involvement (Simeonsson, 1994). All predictors indicate the need for individuals and organizations to make service to their at-risk children a top priority in their community. Historically, schools and other public service agencies have been looked to as the responsible parties for addressing the needs of at-risk children. Current efforts are not adequate to address the roughly 12 million children who were previously mentioned as living in poverty. Churches have a unique opportunity to use their influence and strategic location in the community to help address the ongoing academic and social needs of at-risk children.

The federal and state governments are not able to address all of the needs of at-risk children through governmentally-funded programs. In response to the issue of poverty, Berger and Neuhaus (1977) state that three public policy choices exist related to the problems of the disadvantaged: “(a) we can ignore them, (b) we can attempt to dismantle them and spread their problems around more equitably, or (c) we can try to transform the bad into the better on the way to becoming good” (p. 9). Therefore, churches and individuals have an opportunity to operate as mediating structures to work with the local city governments to find ways to creatively pool resources in attempting to serve the academic and social needs of the at-risk children in their community.” The full thesis may be downloaded Click here

If the Lord has put children on your heart and you do not live near enough to our two houses to be a part of our program, we would encourage you to join with like-minded people in your own area and start a Micah House in your hometown. Diana Lawson, Micah House I Coordinator said that her dream would be to have a Micah House near every school in our nation. That is a big vision, but we serve a big God, and with him all things are possible. Join Him in his work. You will not be sorry that you did. We will help you in any way we can.

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