Amanda Abrams

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Amanda Abrams is a freelance journalist living in Durham, North Carolina. She served as Shelterforce's health fellow in 2019.

A New ‘Normal’: Nonprofits and the Next Phase of COVID

Two years after the pandemic began, community development organizations reflect on what’s changed and how they’re moving forward. Some are still in crisis mode; others are refocusing their work.

Maurice Jones on Job Creation, Community Development, and Wealth Building

Seventy-one percent of jobs that pay $40,000 and above require a four-year degree, says Maurice Jones. That requirement is "having a huge, huge adverse impact on Black talent earning their way into the middle class."

Better, Faster, Cheaper Ways to Finance Supportive Housing

A few cities in the U.S. are addressing homelessness by experimenting with different financing vehicles that are helping to preserve and construct more supportive housing.

Rural Health Professionals Think Outside the Hospital

Could rural hospitals build on existing social services work by investing their assets to advance their communities' health? Examples from Kansas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Virginia show some possibilities.

During the Pandemic, Community Development Organizations Prioritize Relief and Assistance Work

While rent relief might not be their mission, organizations are focusing on the immediate needs of residents. But with all of their staff and monetary resources being used to plug holes, some organizations believe they’re a few months or another crisis away from financial disaster.

Health Care and Community Development Partnerships in the Time of COVID-19

For health care institutions and community development organizations that focus on low-income communities’ social determinants of health, this year has been a doozy. The...

Lessons from the Last Housing Crisis: How to Get Control of Properties

How to keep affordable apartments and single-family homes out of the hands of institutional investors if the coronavirus pandemic leads to a giant wave of evictions and foreclosures.

Feeding People in a Pandemic

Across the country, community organizations and food-related businesses have found creative ways to provide meals and groceries to low-income people in need.
destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy

What Prior Disasters Have Taught Housing Advocates About How to Respond to COVID-19

When it comes to helping people maintain or recover their housing, hurricanes and fires aren’t as different from a pandemic as one might think.

Making Loans to Help Formerly Incarcerated People Get Back on Their Feet

CDFIs and nonprofits are figuring out how to help formerly incarcerated people build credit histories and access capital in order to get their lives going.

Using Ride-Hailing Services to Get Patients to Their Doctors

Health care providers and insurers are trying out new transportation models that could vastly benefit their patients—and their bottom lines.
An aerial shot of St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey.

NJ Pays Hospitals to Build Affordable Housing

New Jersey’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency offers significant subsidies to encourage local hospitals to build housing for low-income residents and frequent users of hospital services.
A doctor and her patient walk outside.

Rural Hospital Struggles Are Also an Economic Development Issue

Aside from the health implications, the closure of a hospital in a rural community deeply impacts the area’s economic wellbeing. But in some cases, it can be avoided.

Evaluating a Program’s Health Outcomes

The Health Outcomes Demonstration Project, a partnership between Success Measures at NeighborWorks America and Enterprise Community Partners, helped organizations measure their programs’ impact on residents’ health.
The outside of Karluck Manor, a housing-first facility that is helping to address the opioid epidemic.

Getting to the Heart of the Opioid Crisis

In some ways, dealing with the opioid epidemic is a natural fit for community development groups. At the heart, it’s often a problem of poverty: a lack of jobs and opportunities. Here's how CDCs are using their skills to address the crisis.
A meeting of the Chelsea Hub in Massachusetts.

Connecting the City’s Social Services to Help At-Risk Populations

A four-year-old Massachusetts program helps vulnerable populations by increasing communication among a range of local groups. And it's having a positive effect—it's helping reduce crime.

Building Healthy Housing Through Health Action Plans

A pilot program required CDCs to collaborate with public health professionals in order to discover—and address—a community’s pressing health issues. What the collaboration uncovered were issues that the participating CDCs hadn't even considered.
A liquor store in Baltimore.

Closing Liquor Stores, Hoping to Gain Public Health

A new code in Baltimore will reduce the number of liquor stores in the city. Will the change result in a drop in violence? What will happen to store owners?
Two women help a senior go up the stairs to her home. Like Project Sustained Legacy, the CAPABLE program helps seniors age in place.

Helping At-Risk Homeowners Stay Put With a Land Trust

For some homeowners at risk of losing their home, City of Lakes Community Land Trust has been able to keep them in place by bringing their home into the land trust.

Can Investing in a Community’s Growth Boost Health Outcomes?

ProMedica and LISC team up to fund place-based investments in the hope of improving health outcomes for residents. How do they do it?

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