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Project Hope is a multi-service agency at the forefront of efforts in Boston to move families beyond homelessness and poverty. It provides low-income women with children with access to education, jobs, housing, and emergency services; fosters their personal transformation; and works for broader systems change. The Center for Social Policy was asked by Project Hope to carry out collaborative action research to help them identify viable employment pathways, accessible in the neighborhood or through use of public transportation, for parents with children who have limited workforce experience and education. Together, the research involved: working with agency staff to survey families served by Project Hope regarding their workforce aspirations; analyzing employment and business data to identify business sectors likely to be seeking new entry-level workers; and consulting with the agency's workforce development leaders regarding strategies for developing new partnerships with employers seeking workers with skills and aspirations like those of families served by Project Hope.

The Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure (COHIF) was formed in response to the wave of foreclosures that has affected communities across Massachusetts. While widespread predatory lending practices left homeowners vulnerable to foreclosure, falling property values have prevented owners from avoiding foreclosure through sale or refinancing of their homes. With Over 20 bills pending, COHiF members were not united in their advocacy. Unless they developed some level of consensus on which bills to push, no legal protections for these low income households would stand a chance of passing. Animosity was present among sub-camps having to do with differences on strategy tactics and provisions within pending bills. The Center for Social Policy partnered with COHiF's organizational members to enable them to work at cross-purposes relative to pending foreclosure bills.


Presented as part of the poster showcase at the Office of Community Partnerships' Community-Engaged Partnerships Symposium on April 5, 2012 at UMass Boston.