Amanda Abrams

31 Posts

Amanda Abrams is a freelance journalist living in Durham, North Carolina. She served as Shelterforce's health fellow in 2019.
An outdoor view of an elderly Black man and woman standing on a walkway in a lawn. Lining the walk are large pots with vegetable plants. The woman, in a blue blouse and white slacks, and standing farther from the camera, has a walker right behind her. The man, closer to the camera, is standing by, but not holding onto, a walker. He's wearing a bright blue T-shirt with a yellow tree design, and is smiling broadly.
COVID

A COVID Upside: It Pushed Organizations to Do Better

During the pandemic, community development organizations had to work double-time to adapt to residents’ needs. For some, that work yielded important lessons about better helping their communities, permanently.

View of St. Louis from afar, with the arch at far right.
Health

The Real Reason Why Babies at a St. Louis Public Housing Complex Weren’t Sleeping on Their Own

When a St. Louis-based group convened public housing residents to talk about infant mortality, they discovered a serious housing issue that affected tenants’ health. To the organization’s credit, they didn’t turn away from the problem.

Equity

How Tax Assessments in a Supposedly Progressive County Are Reinforcing Racism

Buncombe County in North Carolina was one of the first places in the U.S. to support reparations for Black residents. So why is the county not doing a better job of addressing property tax inequities that directly impact residents of color?

Community Development Field

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.

Equity

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.”

Housing

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.

Health

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.

COVID

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.

COVID

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 concept that a person’s health is […]

Housing

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.

COVID

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
COVID

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.