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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Kato, Linda Yuriko; Riccio, James A.; Dodge, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    To combat joblessness and poverty in low-income communities, multiple organizations must work together with local residents. But productive collaboration on such complex issues is notoriously difficult to create and sustain, partly because partners often have different priorities and agendas. Learning from real-world experiences is critical if this strategy is to work.

    This report provides a detailed look at a major current collaborative effort: the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (or Jobs-Plus). It shows how the seven cities in this national demonstration have attempted to build inclusive and productive partnerships to design, fund, and operate an ambitious, place-based employment initiative for residents of selected public housing developments. The lessons drawn have important practical implications for a wide range of community-building and other initiatives.

    Jobs-Plus seeks to boost employment among all working-age residents through employment and training services, financial work...

    To combat joblessness and poverty in low-income communities, multiple organizations must work together with local residents. But productive collaboration on such complex issues is notoriously difficult to create and sustain, partly because partners often have different priorities and agendas. Learning from real-world experiences is critical if this strategy is to work.

    This report provides a detailed look at a major current collaborative effort: the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (or Jobs-Plus). It shows how the seven cities in this national demonstration have attempted to build inclusive and productive partnerships to design, fund, and operate an ambitious, place-based employment initiative for residents of selected public housing developments. The lessons drawn have important practical implications for a wide range of community-building and other initiatives.

    Jobs-Plus seeks to boost employment among all working-age residents through employment and training services, financial work incentives (especially by limiting rent increases for employed residents), neighbor-to-neighbor outreach, and other efforts to promote and support work. In each of the participating cities, selected in 1997, the partners have included the public housing authority, the welfare department, local workforce development agencies, resident leaders, and other local organizations. The chosen cities were Baltimore, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle. Cleveland and Seattle are no longer in the demonstration, but Seattle is still operating its Jobs-Plus program.

    Among their key challenges and accomplishments to date are:

    Collaborative governance and management. The collaboratives' experiences point to the value of: vesting governing authority in a core group of active partners while keeping the larger group in the dialogue in other ways; establishing explicit lines of authority between the governing partners and program staff; devising better mechanisms for holding staff - and partners - accountable; and distinguishing funding and management of the collaborative from that of the program.

    Collaboration in service delivery. Some sites have made considerable progress in building an integrated network of services with close coordination among frontline staff. Such coordination is critical in order to serve and monitor residents effectively across a geographically dispersed network of providers. Toward this end, agencies have modified staff training procedures and expanded their interagency data-sharing efforts. Moreover, some sites have changed broader agency policies as a result of their participation in the collaboratives. Most welfare agencies, for instance, have allowed residents to meet their welfare-to-work obligations by participating in Jobs-Plus.

    Housing authority adaptations. Jobs-Plus challenged housing authorities' nearly exclusive focus on housing management and traditional isolation from the activities of welfare and workforce development agencies. Examples of important housing authority adaptations include efforts to: improve internal coordination (e.g., to implement the rent incentives or link employment assistance to efforts to head off evictions); "fast track" internal decisionmaking for Jobs-Plus; transfer Jobs-Plus funds to independent agencies to address procurement constraints; and permit other partners influence over key hiring decisions, even for staff on the housing authority's payroll.

    Residents' involvement. Residents have had a significant influence in shaping the Jobs-Plus programs, despite sometimes tense relationships between residents and housing authorities. Some sites have succeeded in reaching beyond traditional leaders in building the technical capacity of residents to assume specific leadership and staff roles in the program.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brooks, Leah; Sinitsyn, Maxim
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Since the inception of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in 1975, cities and large urban counties have been entitled to funding based on a formula designed to approximate community need. As with any such federally funded and locally administered program, there is a tension between federal and local control. At the federal level, one of CDBG's main goals is to benefit low- and moderate-income (LMI) people and places. While a substantial literature assesses how well CDBG funds are targeted to needy recipient jurisdictions, evidence on how funds are distributed within recipient jurisdictions is much more limited. In this article, we examine the distribution of CDBG funds relative to the share of LMI people at the council-district and neighborhood levels in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California, for 1998 – 2004. In Los Angeles, we find that relatively poorer council districts receive more than they would were funds distributed following the share of LMI people. In contrast, Chicago's relatively poorer council districts receive lower funding than predicted...

    Since the inception of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in 1975, cities and large urban counties have been entitled to funding based on a formula designed to approximate community need. As with any such federally funded and locally administered program, there is a tension between federal and local control. At the federal level, one of CDBG's main goals is to benefit low- and moderate-income (LMI) people and places. While a substantial literature assesses how well CDBG funds are targeted to needy recipient jurisdictions, evidence on how funds are distributed within recipient jurisdictions is much more limited. In this article, we examine the distribution of CDBG funds relative to the share of LMI people at the council-district and neighborhood levels in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California, for 1998 – 2004. In Los Angeles, we find that relatively poorer council districts receive more than they would were funds distributed following the share of LMI people. In contrast, Chicago's relatively poorer council districts receive lower funding than predicted by their share of the LMI population. This difference across council districts within the cities is partially explained by the greater sensitivity of allocations in Chicago to the location of high-income households. Despite these disparities, policy answers are not obvious; any policy that aims to enhance CDBG's reach to LMI people must contend with the erosion of broad-based political support that this would engender. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ludwig, Jens; Kling, Jeffrey R.; Katz, Lawrence F.; Sanbonmatsu, Lisa; Liebman, Jeffrey B.; Duncan, Greg J.; Kessler, Ronald C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    Experimental estimates from Moving to Opportunity (MTO) show no significant impacts of moves to lower-poverty neighborhoods on adult economic self-sufficiency four to seven years after random assignment. The authors disagree with Clampet-Lundquist and Massey’s claim that MTO was a weak intervention and therefore uninformative about neighborhood effects. MTO produced large changes in neighborhood environments that improved adult mental health and many outcomes for young females. Clampet-Lundquist and Massey’s claim that MTO experimental estimates are plagued by selection bias is erroneous. Their new nonexperimental estimates are uninformative because they add back the selection problems that MTO’s experimental design was intended to overcome. (author abstract)

    Experimental estimates from Moving to Opportunity (MTO) show no significant impacts of moves to lower-poverty neighborhoods on adult economic self-sufficiency four to seven years after random assignment. The authors disagree with Clampet-Lundquist and Massey’s claim that MTO was a weak intervention and therefore uninformative about neighborhood effects. MTO produced large changes in neighborhood environments that improved adult mental health and many outcomes for young females. Clampet-Lundquist and Massey’s claim that MTO experimental estimates are plagued by selection bias is erroneous. Their new nonexperimental estimates are uninformative because they add back the selection problems that MTO’s experimental design was intended to overcome. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory; Pergamit, Michael; McKerman, Signe-Mary; Braga, Breno; Ratcliffe, Caroline; Hahn, Heather; Edelstein, Sara; Elkin, Sam
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    This report presents first-year findings from an evaluation of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program at two sites — Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, NM and RISE Financial Pathways in Los Angeles, CA.

    Findings show that the AFI program increased low-income participants’ savings after one year. There is also evidence of a range of several beneficial secondary impacts, including reductions in material hardship and improvements in perceived financial well-being.

    This is the first evaluation of the AFI program to use a randomized controlled trial. The study assesses the program’s early effects on participants’ savings, asset ownership, and economic well-being. (Author abstract)

    This report presents first-year findings from an evaluation of the Assets for Independence (AFI) program at two sites — Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, NM and RISE Financial Pathways in Los Angeles, CA.

    Findings show that the AFI program increased low-income participants’ savings after one year. There is also evidence of a range of several beneficial secondary impacts, including reductions in material hardship and improvements in perceived financial well-being.

    This is the first evaluation of the AFI program to use a randomized controlled trial. The study assesses the program’s early effects on participants’ savings, asset ownership, and economic well-being. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rademacher, Ida; Brooks, Jennifer; Wiedrich, Kasey; Melford, Genevieve; Nguyen, Michelle; Rosen, Barbara; Campbell, Chris; Lawton, Kristin; Radovich, Amy; Murrell, Karen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Local leaders are pioneering new ways to leverage the resources and regulatory power of municipalities to work across departmental silos and public/private sector divides to scale up economic inclusion and asset-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. Municipal governments are uniquely poised to implement innovative and effective programs, create powerful partnerships and deliver forward-thinking services to the communities they serve every day.

    CFED worked closely with members of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition to understand these emerging efforts, and the resulting report, Building Economic Security in America’s Cities: New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment, highlights the work cities across the country are doing to educate, empower and protect residents in the financial marketplace. This report represents a comprehensive effort to document the range of municipal policies and programs that are being used to enhance the financial security of low-income families during a time of deep recession. (author...

    Local leaders are pioneering new ways to leverage the resources and regulatory power of municipalities to work across departmental silos and public/private sector divides to scale up economic inclusion and asset-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. Municipal governments are uniquely poised to implement innovative and effective programs, create powerful partnerships and deliver forward-thinking services to the communities they serve every day.

    CFED worked closely with members of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition to understand these emerging efforts, and the resulting report, Building Economic Security in America’s Cities: New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment, highlights the work cities across the country are doing to educate, empower and protect residents in the financial marketplace. This report represents a comprehensive effort to document the range of municipal policies and programs that are being used to enhance the financial security of low-income families during a time of deep recession. (author abstract)

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