With one in four children living in poverty, the City of San Antonio has sought to foster a citywide movement to improve digital equity, relational supports, school readiness and parental self-sufficiency. To achieve these goals, the city has launched several initiatives that have built upon the success of PreK4SA to address the conditions behind the challenges faced by impoverished children and families.
Ready to Work
One such initiative is Ready to Work, a taxpayer-funded program offering low-income adults the opportunity to pursue high-paying careers in high-demand occupations. This initiative pays tuition costs for industry-recognized certifications, associate and bachelor’s degrees, and promotes retention of graduates through collaborative relationships with employers and trainees throughout the city. By 2025, this program will have trained and placed 28,000 low-income San Antonians in demand occupations, lifting countless families out of poverty. This program shapes generational trajectories of families, as it connects them to quality early childhood education and child care programs.
Strategic Housing Implementation Plan (SHIP)
Approved in 2021, SHIP is a 10-year plan that marks a first step toward achieving quality, accessible, affordable housing choices for all San Antonio households. SHIP maintains a priority in delivering housing choices to families who face particular challenges related to disability, overcrowding and age, achieving this through:
Through SHIP, the City of San Antonio expects to preserve or build 28,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.
Community Digital Equity Plan and Roadmap
With over 100,000 households lacking sufficient broadband access, technological disparities evident in virtual learning during the 2020-2021 academic year raised awareness of digital equity as a major crisis to resolve in facilitating school readiness and early childhood learning. To complement stopgap solutions that introduced temporary internet access throughout digitally disconnected neighborhoods and communities, the City of San Antonio introduced a Community Digital Equity Plan and Roadmap in 2021 to specifically target 50 high-priority populations who experience the digital gap the most. This plan integrates expansion of broadband internet access and other technological resources with efforts to improve housing options and reduce systemic inequalities in education, health and employment opportunities.