New family-oriented position in Kettering sheds light on everyday challenges for residents

A new position created in Kettering is focusing on connecting residents with affordable housing, transportation and child care as part of a larger community project to identify resources for families.

The position, a Youth and Family Resource Coordinator, was created through a partnership between the city of Kettering and Kettering City Schools. They split the salary of $53,049.

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“We help families who have a child or children that attend a school in Kettering,” said Jonelle Carroll, who earned the new position. “It could be Kettering City Schools, or any of the parochial schools or the Dayton STEM school.”

The program currently has no income guidelines and is open to all who are in the school district.

“We connect them to resources that could be for food, housing, clothing, household goods and furnishings, or pest infestation,” Carroll said. “There is no specific list. Basically, if a family is having a need that is affecting their quality of life, they can be referred to me either by the guidance counselor in the school building or by the city and then I reach out to the families and help them get connected.”

She said many people are struggling to pay rent and find affordable housing in the Kettering area. Transportation has been another issue at the top of Carroll’s list.

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“Two weeks ago, a small group including myself and two guidance counselors performed a transportation challenge just around Kettering using the RTA to get to a doctor’s office, a grocery story and a laundromat. It took us about five-and-a-half hours, and we didn’t actually factor in how long it would take to stay and do your laundry or grocery shopping.

“But, it would likely have taken at least eight hours. It cost us $12 per person to get to those three locations and the interesting thing is that we spent almost four hours outside waiting for the buses or walking and that was quite eye-opening for us.”

She has a plan to present to RTA to help remedy some of the transportation problems.

“One of the things that I am working on is to try an get a circulator bus plan here in Kettering to try an address those issues,” Carroll said. “Maybe just start out having it run just a few hours each day to help families get to and from work, or school, or doctor’s appointments and then in the evening get to grocery shopping or the laundromat or whatever they may need.

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She said child care is also a big issue, either in finding affordable childcare or gaining access to Title 20 assistance, the subsidized child care program which helps low-income families pay their child care fees.

“There are not a lot of child care agencies that accept it here in Kettering,” Carroll said. “Child care is quite expensive, especially for the younger children.”

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