For Jeremiah Program Austin and dozens of young mothers, March 6th was a day they had been waiting for. The program officially opened its nearly 50-thousand square foot Moody Campus in the Guadalupe-Saldana Net-Zero Subdivision of East Austin. A large group of area leaders and supporters gathered for speeches followed by a ribbon cutting and tours of the affordable apartment building. Among the speakers were Congressman Lloyd Doggett and his wife Libby, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez and City Councilmember Sabino “Pio” Renteria.
The Campus includes 35 two-bedroom apartments, some of which have already become a new home for young single mothers and their small children. Two of the moms, Deja Phillips and Marissa Martinez shared their personal stories with the crowd, with Martinez fighting back tears. All the mothers are required to attend college classes that will lead to careers that will provide a living wage. They also must complete a 12-week empowerment course. Jeremiah Program provides free early childhood education to ensure the children are kindergarten-ready. It allows their mothers to focus on school.
Jeremiah Program received $2 million in funding for the campus from the housing bonds voters approved in 2013. It also partnered with Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation, which owns the subdivision where the campus is located.