Family Friendly Policy Interventions

I’ve read a number of great articles lately about successful small-scale interventions that were incredibly beneficial to communities. I wanted to link some of these articles here–as reference for me and also, for any policy wonks who might be reading.

Washing Machines in Schools:  I loved reading about this brilliant and simple intervention–many students in low-income communities lack access to a reliable washing machine. Having dirty clothes can lead to low self esteem and many students choose to skip class rather than suffer embarrassment. Thanks to Whirlpool,  two school districts were able to pilot a program that allowed students to bring in dirty laundry and have their clothes cleaned while in class–the result? Attendance increased for 93% of students! I hope the program expands–dirty laundry should not deter our students from attending school.

Homesharing: Last week I had the chance to meet Lili Hoag, the Policy Director for Family Forward Oregon–an organization that fights for critical issues such as paid sick days, family leave, and increasing the minimum wage. Women’s economic justice is one of my passions and I loved speaking to Lili about her journey and career. After our meeting, I was googling different family friendly policies and came across CoAbode, a way for single mothers to share a home–and share the responsibility of parenting. Women helping women–what’s not to like?

Unlikely Neighbors: This article is one of my all-time favorites. Fortune Society, a NYC nonprofit, has been bringing together single moms and ex-convicts to create a supportive community in a Harlem apartment complex. American cities need more affordable housing-but we also need more innovative policy like this. It’s the best of both worlds and gives me hope for the future of our cities.


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