Educating Homeless Children

Brenda C. can ill-afford to pay for her daughter’s daily bus fare to and from Hope Valley Elementary School in Durham, NC. Diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1999 at age 37, Brenda was forced to stop working as a thrift store clerk in May 2001 after aggressive medical treatments took their toll on her body. […]

The Fight for Equality in Mississippi’s Delta Schools Continues

For many of today’s young people, the civil rights movement has been relegated to America’s mythic past. Though they celebrate the toppling of segregation’s legal structures, few born after the 1960s feel a present connection to the movement’s human drama and sense of urgency. In the Mississippi Delta, however, rural communities have a rich sense […]

Section 8 Homeownership Program

For more than a decade, all that Tanya Anderson could do to spiff up her eat-in kitchen was to plant two plastic yellow roses on the dining table. However hard she mopped it, the dirt-colored linoleum floor never seemed to look clean. The beige countertop and wood cabinets remained dull and drab. Anderson would have […]

The Real Jobs-Housing Mismatch

There is a fundamental disconnect between the rate at which the incomes of low-income households are growing and the rate at which rents are escalating. For millions of renters, there is little hope of escape from shouldering heavy housing cost burdens (near record levels), living in crowded conditions (at record levels) or renting severely inadequate […]

Building Stronger Communities Through Mediation

Barbara* thought she would never get peace and quiet. Her job as a baker requires that she wake up at 4 a.m. She had, on numerous occasions, called the police about the young men next door who revved their motorcycle right outside her bedroom window and yelled and played the drums late at night. The […]

Human and Political Consequences

Not that long ago, Congress decided that, if times got tough financially, some hard decisions would have to be made. If a federal program were to expand or a new one be created, an “offset,” a cut in another program or an increase in taxes to pay for it, would have to be found. More […]

Shelter Shorts

Honey, I Shrunk the Bank The four federal bank regulatory agencies have proposed changing the definition of a “small bank” from one with assets of up to $250 million, to one with assets up to $500 million. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) even proposed increasing the threshold to $1 billion. “Small” banks receive a […]

No Place for Us

The low-income students living in Irvine Meadows West, a historic trailer park at the University of California, Irvine, received more than a liberal arts education. They received an education in the art of liberation. Last winter, when I met Garrett Asay, co-chair of Irvine Meadows West’s (IMW) residents’ advocacy committee, he told me about the […]

The Effects of Elections on Fundraising

While many people debate the effect of fundraising on an election – who gives the money, how much money any person or corporation should be able to give, what kind of favors the givers expect – we in development are looking at the opposite question: What, if anything, does election-year fundraising do to our ability […]

The Rules of Engagement

A Voice for Nonprofits, by Jeffrey M. Berry with David F. Arons. Brookings Institution Press, 2003. 210 pp. $26.95 (hardcover). Jeffrey M. Berry and David F. Arons strongly believe that leaders of American nonprofits must better represent the interests of their clients to government. In the authors’ view, public policy advocacy needs to be an […]

Tanya Wolfram

Change is all around us. People change, times change. The community development work we do is geared to effect change – in politics and business, the quality of someone’s life, in a neighborhood or school, or of a mind. But what makes us change? Maybe it’s a convincing argument, a book we read or film […]