San Diego, CA - Butterfly Transformations: Ending Homelessness Through Education

This is how you get it done. Ending homelessness through education. That's what I'm talking about. 

But you know me. I started to conducting my own due diligence. And guess what I found?

This school is pretty awesome. It's an school exclusively for homeless kids. Only 1 of 3 of its kind in the nation (that we know of so far). A brilliant public-private partnership between San Diego Dept of Education and this private organization. 

And they are getting it done. Its record of results speak for itself. Do I have specifics? Of course, I have specifics...

The Monarch School Project in the last 3 years have managed the following:

1. Increased annual revenue from $1.5 million to $3.5 million. No government funding. This allows for unrestricted revenue streams to do whatever it needs to do to support its mission. Their platform. Their way. To get the needed results for its students.

2. Increased student enrollment from 150 kids to over 300. Most who do not even live nearby the campus. With no formal outreach or recruitment efforts. These kids just show up at the door. Through word-of-mouth. Or through homeless shelters. 

3. Increased student GPAs from 2.0s to 3.0s and 3.5s. Started a basketball team with the motto "Win the Day" in order to start competing in area leagues to teach the kids about winning. Teamwork. Winning the right way. 

Hell, you can't put the words "kids" and "winning" in the same sentence nowadays without have some bozo parent with their tissue-paper personality, screaming and thrashing about, yelling about how all the kids need to get trophies because "everyone's a winner". 

Well, guess wth what? That's horse-squeeze. 

When you compete, there are clear winners. And clear losers. Period. End of story. Get over it. No wonder little snot-nosed Timmy has a complete meltdown whenever he can't get Lucky Charms in the cereal aisle in the grocery store. 

And why is that? Because little 6 yr old Timmy's mother, still sees him as her precious little snowflake, and refuses to pop her boob out of his mouth and let him grow up. And start learning about competition, winning and losing. 

And yes, that is my business. Because I have watch that little snot pitch that complete fit in the cereal aisle when I'm trying to get my Fruit Loops. Ruining my shopping experience. 

I digress. 

4. Expanded from a cramped 10,000 sq.ft building to a $17 million educational campus covering 2.2 acres. A 51,000 sq.ft building; separate classrooms for each grade level; a science lab, library, literacy and tutoring centers; health clinic, career center, spaces for music instruction and performing arts; an auditorium that will serve as cafeteria, gymnasium and event space; playgrounds, outdoor recreation areas; 

And a freaking student garden. Wow. And again, mind you. All of this is exclusively for homeless kids. 

And they deserve every square-inch of it. This school managed for years in their cramped building. But was still getting the job done. They figured it out. 

When they ran out of classroom space, they started doubling up grade-levels. When they ran out of space to tutor and mentor, they got it done in the freaking hallway. When the hallways filled up, they took it to the lobby. 

Homeless kids were coming in droves. They had to start turning kids away because they were operating at full capacity. 

One student takes a public transportation trip in the back of a bus just to get to school everyday.This school gets results. 

The existing narrative of addressing homeless youth in this nation is that it is a problem best suited for government to solve. That if the government creates another homeless council, the government can end youth homelessness. That if we had more information, the government can then solve the problem. That if we expanded budgets, then government can solve the problem.

But this school figured out that if you change the narrative, then you control the dialogue. You control the conversation. You control the process. You control how things are organized and how they're not. You control who is a part of the conversation and who's not. You control how homeless students should be engaged.  

You control how we end youth homelessness. 

And this school was the narrator of project that included the community, its businesses, its public service organizations, its banks, its real estate developers, etc. They set out & raised $16 million to get this done for these deserving kids. 

It took years of planning. But they got it done. 

So way to go Monarch School Project in San Diego County, CA. Ending homelessness for our youth on your own terms. Through education. Your way.