$125M Awarded to Educate Young Children in Detroit


DETROIT — Matrix Human Services, a 108-year nonprofit organization in Detroit, has been awarded $125 million over the next five years from the U.S. Health & Human Services Administration to educate children in Detroit. 

The Office of Head Start is investing approximately $50 million annually in Matrix Head Start and other programs to provide quality services to families in Detroit.

Grant funding allows for an anticipated expansion from 14 to 28 centers by January next year with increased enrollment to nealry 2,000 children birth to age 5 and their families. The Matrix Head Start program now offers services year-round (48/52 weeks) with center locations in Detroit in Southwest, Central-Downtown and East Detroit through both home and center-based Early Head Start programs, based on growing community need.

“The most important lifelong gift we can give to our children is to provide the support their parents need to move out of poverty.  What differentiates Matrix Head Start and all Matrix programs is our Transition to Success platform designed to coordinate all services across our community to improve health and economic self-sufficiency outcomes for children and their families,” said  Marcella Wilson, president and CEO of Matrix Human Services.

Matrix’s Transition to Success program coordinates care for basic needs, literacy, getting an education (including GED and higher education for parents), financial literacy, and volunteerism and all key components for self-sufficiency for individuals and families living in poverty. The Head Start grant supports our innovative program that includes individualized instruction, multicultural environment, bilingual classrooms (English, Spanish and Arabic), services to children with special needs and events that connect families to resources including food, education and health services throughout the community.

Matrix is one of 15 organizations in five communities across the country selected to receive federal funding for this initiative.

Matrix is leading the Head Start initiative with valued partners that include Detroit Institute for Children, Warren Conner Development Coalition, Evaluation Strategies, Henry Ford Health System, Merrill Palmer Institute, Detroit Zoo, Forgotten Harvest, Mobile Care 24/7, University of Michigan Law School – Detroit Family Advocacy Center, El Arte – Living Arts, Lions Hearing Center of Michigan, Samaritan Center, Pastoral Alliance, Ser Metro and Detroit Parent Network.

Matrix begins fundraising efforts immediately to raise substantial private funds and in-kind donations totaling $31 million over next five years.  Other proposed Detroit award recipients include Metropolitan Children and Youth, New St. Paul and Starfish. Additional cities receiving pilot funding include Baltimore City, Md.; Jersey City, N.J.; Sunflower County, Miss., and Washington, D.C.