Friends of George Peabody Foundation
Over 150 years ago, wealthy American philanthropist and financier George Peabody founded Peabody, a London housing provider. His vision, the relief of hardship and distress amongst the hardworking poor of London, continues through its mission to build thriving and vibrant communities, not just homes. Peabody is now one of the largest providers of housing in London with over 27,000 homes and 70,000 residents. Its community programs combat poverty, care for the more vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society, and help people engage with employment and training opportunities.
London has the highest rate of child poverty of any English region with almost 600,000 children (37%) living below the poverty line. Peabody's Children's Community Program, modelled on the highly successful Harlem Children's Zone, seeks to tackle the underlying causes of child poverty. The three priorities for action are:
- Increasing the number of all ages in employment, education and training and raising educational attainment; (ii) increasing the supply of high quality, affordable childcare, including after-school and holiday provision; (iii) ensuring those who need it receive welfare benefit and debt advice.
- Increasing help available to parents by (i) supporting and stimulating informal support networks, (ii) providing parent training courses, (iii) strengthening relationships between couples with children and (iii) ensuring that existing family support services run by local government and voluntary sector are reaching vulnerable parents.
- Focusing on early intervention and prevention support for the youngest children and exploring what more can be done to improve the life chances of 0-5 year olds.
The Althea Foundation has established the Friends of George Peabody Foundation, a US-based non-profit organization that will promote the work and many initiatives of Peabody in London.