Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

Portfolio Tag jobs

The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development in the United States

For more than a century, American reformers have struggled to remedy the problems of poverty in the places where low-income people live. At first, these social improvers could muster only a few isolated solutions, but by the end of the twentieth century, they had expanded their effort…

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The Continuing Evolution of American Poverty and Its Implications for Community Development

The Gospel according to Matthew quotes Jesus as saying to his disciples, “For you have the poor always with you.” That may well indeed be true. But just like other groups, the poor change over time. Mass distribution of loaves and fishes was arguably an appropriate antipoverty strateg…

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Fighting Poverty through Community Development

The Great Recession forced families and communities to confront the worst economic collapse most of us had seen in our lifetimes. When President Obama took office, the economy was shedding 750,000 jobs per month, and foreclosures were rising to record levels. Since then, the economy h…

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America’s Tomorrow: Race, Place, and the Equity Agenda

The quintessential promise of America is that through hard work, anyone born poor can succeed. The antipoverty movement grew out of recognition that this is a pipe dream for millions of people of color who are disproportionately saddled with failing schools, unemployment, poor health,…

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People Transforming Communities. For Good.

Neighborhood Centers, Inc., has a long and rich history in community development, beginning with our origin as a part of the Settlement House movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s, meant to welcome newcomers to the United States and designed to make sure people knew how to live i…

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Community Development in Rural America: Collaborative, Regional, and Comprehensive

More than 59 million people live in rural America, and nearly 9 million, or 18 percent, are living in poverty. This compares with 12 percent poor in the suburbs and 20 percent in central cities. One-fourth of all rural children are growing up poor, and in some chronically poor areas, …

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Owning Your Own Job Is a Beautiful Thing: Community Wealth Building in Cleveland, Ohio

In September 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics about poverty in the United States. According to the Bureau’s analysis, fully 25 percent of very young children (below the age of five) in America are now living in poverty. Further, 46.2 million Americans lived in pove…

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The World Has Changed and So Must We

A RUDE AWAKENING Like other American foundations, the F. B. Heron Foundation has for years focused on helping families at the bottom of the economic and social scale—inheritors of persistent poverty, racial and ethnic discrimination, social and geographic isolation, and various failur…

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What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?

What is the problem that community development was created to solve? What is the problem it is solving today? And will it be able to solve the problems of tomorrow? I think I know the answer to the first question. Community development emerged as a product of the War on Poverty to giv…

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Our History with Concentrated Poverty

American poverty has many faces. The poor are elderly and young, families and single individuals, men and women, with and without disabilities. They are of all races and ethnicities. They work in restaurants, on farms, in packinghouses, in day-labor settings, and at many more workplac…

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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

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The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.