Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

Portfolio Tag race

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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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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It Takes a Neighborhood: Purpose Built Communities and Neighborhood Transformation

About 70 percent of prisoners in New York State come from eight neighborhoods in New York City. These neighborhoods suffer profound poverty, exclusion, marginalization and despair. All these things nourish crime.1 In December 1993, Atlanta developer and philanthropist Tom Cousins came…

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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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Crime and Community Development

Community development has traditionally focused on investments in housing, commercial revitalization, and physical improvements. Although all three are clearly critical to communities, the field has largely ignored (or paid too little attention to) one of the key factors that shape th…

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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.