Who Does Holla Serve?
Archie Boone Jr.
Description of the needs of people HOLLA Inc. serves.
HOLLA Inc. targets youth from impoverished communities due to high concentration of low Socioeconomic Status, high risk factors among disparity groups. Programs and services offered provide a bridge access chasm, dispels stigmas, and assist youth in securing a promising narrative.
Based upon the 2017 HUD Census report Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) public housing communities are host to a high concentration of impoverished families in the city. 82% of NRHA public housing residents are homes where the Head of Household is African American. The average annual income in NRHA communities is $11,880 with 75% of those families classified as having extremely low income.
Substance abuse is common among the parents and youth in many localities. Poorer areas see use of alcohol and illegal drugs; wealthier areas report abuse of prescription drugs. The Opioid Epidemic and COVID-19 Pandemic have brought forth new findings in disparate populations. Towards these public health emergencies, HOLLA Inc. responds to address underlying issues that have an impact on social determinants of health for youth and their parents.
Services to address these needs are greatly lacking, particularly for the youth. “[Our area doesn’t] have affordable, available, adolescent substance abuse programs,” said a director of a behavioral health service.
HOLLA Inc. serves children who have been removed from their homes, who have been in the foster care system, who have seen substance abuse, whose parents are incarcerated. Crime also affects children indirectly in many ways. “Crime reduces access to parks and stops kids from being able to play outside [safely],” said a community health supervisor, “and the neighborhood affects their image of themselves and their choices.”
In 2018, Virginia Social Indicator Dashboard shows that Norfolk had an alarming rate of need for prevention services for youth and their families. Norfolk ranked #1 for the highest crack cocaine (drug narcotic) arrests in the state, #8 for cocaine, and #10 for heroin. Based on reports of fentanyl overdoses from Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Norfolk ranked #2 out of 40 communities, #9 of 40 for heroin, and #10 of 40 for cocaine. As for Juvenile Cases, Norfolk ranks #2 of 40 for direct care, and #3 of 40 for intake cases. Up by nearly 300 cases in 2015, Norfolk City had 2391 intake cases in 2017(Department of Juvenile Justice). In 2016, Norfolk City had 372 cocaine cases and 6.33 cocaine overdoses (DFS). Norfolk’s Child Poverty rate in 2018 is 31.22. That’s 8.22% increase since 2014 (Department of Social Services).
In 2014, nearly 35% of Norfolk residents were living in poverty. That’s a 25% higher rate than neighboring cities like Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. Norfolk’s high number of juvenile case (intake) during this year 2015, clearly validates the risk to the city’s youth as being prone to risky behaviors. Throughout key informant interviews certain themes arose which included:
• Norfolk, as an urban center for the Hampton Roads region, has a much more prevalent and visible substance use issue than in neighboring cities;
• Needs identified to expand substance abuse prevention and treatment;
• Community awareness and interest in addressing substance abuse stems from related crime and a desire for safety in neighborhoods;
• The hospitals see a lot of patients with substance use issues and are more proactively involved;
• Most all families are touched by this issue somehow in a personal manner;
• There is increasing understanding that substance use affects people from all socioeconomic classes and races; however, some misconceptions still exist within the general population.
Child and neglect were identified in all three data sources. In the Community Health Survey, participants prioritized child abuse and neglect among the top 15 priorities. In the health indicators, child abuse and neglect investigations revealed high rates of investigations in Norfolk, Virginia. In Norfolk, child abuse and neglect in completed founded investigations ranks 7.5; that’s 4.5 times higher than the state average (3.0) *rates per 1,000 children (ages 0-17 years).
“…We know other factors are poverty, lack of services, lack of education and opportunities, lack of access to prevention programs…All the factors that contribute to racism have an effect as well…Large populations of people of color in [this] region…do not have access to services.”
• Educator in a healthcare organization
While transportation is a prerequisite for all health care, Norfolk youth have barriers to accessing service and programs. In interviews, key stakeholders highlighted lack of childcare presents an obstacle for many families, interfering with their ability to access health care and services and to participate in programs. Organizations tend to operate in silos, requiring vulnerable families to locate and coordinate resources from a variety of locations, agencies and systems. Navigating these resources can be complex and confusing (page 16, CHKD: Community Health Needs Assessment 2016-2018).
Norfolk’s youth are a disparity group that experiences (1) limited availability of prevention services or (2) limited access to substance abuse prevention services and (3) worse substance use prevention outcomes. Groups include:
• Racial/ethnic disparity groups (i.e., African American, Hispanic, Immigrant),
• Geographic disparity groups (i.e., urban, no transportation), age (i.e., child/teens)
• Socioeconomic disparity groups (i.e., low income, homeless, refugees),
• Sexual identity disparity groups (LBGTQ),
• Language or literacy disparity groups (non-English speaking or low-literacy English or non-English speakers) or
• Other substantiated special populations (individuals and families experiencing hardships due to COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic)
How many people receive goods/services from your organization monthly on average?
HOLLA Inc. serves 10-12 families monthly on average.
What percent of your budget goes toward administrative costs/salaries?
HOLLA Inc. is operated by volunteers that do not receive payment, nor reimbursements at this time.
Has HOLLA Inc. received donations in the past?
HOLLA Inc. has not received donations in the past to benefit its programs.
What are the goals for the future?
HOLLA Inc.’s goal is to (1) to prepare competent, compassionate and committed youth leaders in local neighborhoods (2) to meet 2022 proposed budget: fundraising- $500; contributions- $500; scholarships- $1500; professional fees- $1500; community outreach- $12000;
HOLLA Inc. is a 501 (c)3 organization. Its main sources of income are donations.