INSTITUTE FOR URBAN POLICY
“Life Works When You Work"
We offer community oriented culturally informed research, analysis and strategic recommendations to policy makers, businesses leaders, philanthropic organizations, non profits, governmental and non governmental institutions who have a desire to engage, impact and influence people living in blighted low income urban communities for the purposes of community building, community transformation, economic development and political empowerment.
The Urban Proverty Problem
For decades billions of dollars have been invested in urban communities through the well intended programs of both public and private social service institutions. While some programs have had a positive impact, most (programs) have had a devastating negative impact on families, often enabling them to remain mired in the cycle of generational poverty.
The Charity Assumption
Programs with positive impacts operate with an empowerment (or asset) assumption that people can do for themselves. They offer support and resources, while requiring personal investment and responsibility from the recipients. Programs that are more likely to be ineffective operate from a “charity (or deficit) assumption” treat people as if they cannot do for themselves. They offer support and resources without requiring personal investment and responsibility from the recipients. While there is a place for charity, particularly when people truly cannot do for themselves, this assumption misapplied does not empower. It strips people of dignity, negatively impacts self-efficacy and currently consumes too much of the resources invested and programs/services developed and delivered in low-income urban communities.
The Urban Poverty Solution
To develop and advance more culturally informed public policy to move investment in blighted low income urban communities from the social service context and the charity assumption, to an economic development context and an empowerment assumption. Only then can we make accessible to low/no income families’ real opportunities for socioeconomic self-sufficiency and to empower them to liberate themselves from the cycle of generational poverty. We have to recognize that this type of strategic investment in people is both the solution to the problem of generational poverty in urban communities; and a way to grow a productive local and national economy
PACT Safety Plan PDF
Executive Summary: Two years ago, The Ohio State University, City of Columbus and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) embarked on a transformational community development initiative for a large part of the City’s Near East Side. In an area of over 800 acres—which is roughly equivalent to that of Downtown Columbus—these three organizations promised to develop a revitalization plan that was based on the community’s collective vision with achievable strategies and clearly identified implementation actions. Together, they formed the planning organization Partners Achieving Community Transformation, or PACT.