On the journey to get ahead, Scholar House offers a hand

We all have dreams, but sometimes life gets in the way of reaching them.

Especially for single parents who were dealt a bad hand, perhaps coming from poverty, trying to manage a job and raise a child can make it seem impossible to get ahead.

Extending a hand up to single parents who want to pursue their dreams is the idea behind Scholar House, a project of the Kentucky Housing Corp. that operates eight programs around the state to help single parents get a college education.

Northern Kentucky has two, Northern Kentucky Scholar House in Newport and Lincoln Grant Scholar House in Covington.

Northern Kentucky Scholar House, a collaboration between Brighton Center and Newport’s Neighborhood Foundations, now has openings for qualified residents.

The program provides support to single parents enrolled in post-secondary education who are on a journey to self-sufficiency. The Scholar House program eases the journey by sharing some of the burdens that can make the destination unachievable. The key elements are access to affordable housing, good onsite child care and support from people similarly situated as well as professional staff.

It made all the difference for Quinn, a single parent who graduated this spring from the Northern Kentucky Scholar House.

“I didn’t have a support system,” Quinn says. “I was on my own as a single parent and mostly stayed in my apartment and kept to myself with my son Leo.”

Quinn heard about Scholar House and thought it sounded too good to be true, but learned it was for real.

Scholar House takes a two-generation approach, providing services to the parent and children, readying mom to enter the workforce while setting the kids up for success in school. Single-parent student residents live in the state-funded housing in a supportive environment for themselves and their children.

Northern Kentucky Scholar House is located at the corner of Sixth and Patterson streets in Newport. The site includes 42 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments and a child development center. Residents benefit from case management, life skills workshops, financial education, and connection to Brighton Center’s 41 programs aimed at helping families reach self-sufficiency.

To be eligible, applicants must be at least 18; be a single parent with primary custody of their child; be a full-time student or admitted for full-time enrollment in an approved post-secondary institution; agree to attend life skills workshops and monthly meetings with a case manager and be eligible for Section 8 subsidized housing. Children under the age of 5 must enroll at the Early Scholars Child Development Center on campus.

For more information, please visit www.brightoncenter.com or e-mail Lela Rankins at [email protected]


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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.