The majority of the children involved with EVO are from non-traditional urban families. The parent(s) or guardians work and often have limited resources to provide the child-care and educational support that their children need. The traditional structures are not able to meet the needs of these families, children and youth.
EVO's passion is to provide a safe place for these urban families and adults to find care.
Bloomfield, Friendship, and Garfield are our primary areas of ministry, though many of our children also come from East Liberty, Lawrenceville, Stanton Heights, Larimar, Wilkinsburg and Homestead. Garfield has had a population decline since the 1970's due to the steel mill closings and struggle to find meaningful employment. Additionally, much of the subsidized housing is in the renovation process, thus requiring many residents to relocate to other communities.
The Bloomfield - Friendship areas are surrounded by the several of the above areas and are being impacted by the socio-economic decline of the areas. 8% of the children 17 and under live below the federal poverty level. The neighborhood income level is lower than 90.8% of its U. S. neighbors.
Homewood has 4.4% of the children 17 & under living below the federal poverty line. This rate of childhood poverty is 76.9% more than other U.S. neighborhoods.
Lincoln-Larimer has 21.7% of the children live below the federal poverty line and 93.9% of the neighborhood is low income.
Wilkinsburg has 36.7% of its children below the federal poverty line.
All of the above data indicates physical needs for the children and families of these low income poverty level neighborhoods. All of these communities have seen a decline in the educational learning of the children living in the neighborhoods. EVO works directly with Arsenal Pre-K - 5th, Woolslair Elementary, Sunnyside PreK-8th, Dilworth, Fulton, Montessori, and Lincoln Elementary. All of these schools have a minimum of 35% - 50% of the children at Basic or Below Basic in both reading and/or math. Statistics indicate that 3 out of 4 African American children are below the national level of proficiency in both reading and math. Over 75% of the children we serve are African American.Other concerns that follow the continual decline in academic progress is the difficulty to provide quality, individualized educationbecause of the varying academic abilities of the children within the classrooms. Additionally, the children spend a significant amount of time unsupervised while their parent(s) are at work.