Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

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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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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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Transit-Oriented Development Is Good Community Development

The steady dispersion of people and jobs across core cities, suburbs, and exurbs has contributed to more fragmented lifestyles, with people often living in one neighborhood, working in another, and shopping and recreating in another. There are myriad reasons for this fragmentation of …

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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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Integration and Innovation in a Time of Stress: Doing the Best for People and Place

Over the past decade, amid bubble and bust, community development has undergone a subtle but important transformation, broadening its outlook from a primary focus on investment in real estate, especially affordable housing, to include other types of real estate, such as charter school…

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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.