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Lynchburg programs adjust class structures to help reduce poverty

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 5:21 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The Life Skills Institute in Lynchburg sits empty - for now.

“Coming up in the very near future, we will offer the hybrid model of Home Essentials,” said Contessa Broadus, Life Skills Institute coordinator.

The Life Skills Institute building normally houses classes that teaches home essential skills like cooking and cleaning to those in public housing.

However, because of the pandemic, Broadus says they’re not able to reach those they need to.

“Right now, not being able to have these classes, we are being affected because we are not reaching the population that we need to be able to reach,” said Broadus.

That program comes in a partnership with Park View Community Mission and others.

It’s now set to take on a hybrid model instead of full in-person classes.

“We all know that if you wanna lower the poverty rate, you’ve got to raise the employ-ability rate,” said Earl Larkins, Park View Community Mission spokesperson.

In an effort to do just that, the City of Lynchburg has accepted a grant worth over $100,000.

It goes toward efforts to reduce poverty, which also includes other programs like Career Essentials with HumanKind.

That program is slated to now take on an approach that can utilize online aspects as well.

“People, especially for entry-level or people with barriers to employment, or maybe they have a poor work history, could gain those skills that are going to make them more hire-able,” said Keith Cook, HumanKind director of workforce operations.

But for those at the Life Skills Institute, getting back in some form means helping those who need it most.

“We can offer these classes to the individuals who need them in order to help the city with the homelessness and to keep people in their homes.”

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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