Residents of Brownsville face joblessness at crisis levels, even as the rest of New York City’s unemployment levels have fallen to pre-recession rates. Our partners in workforce development have been working with us to examine and retool their own processes and understand why, when, and how often Brownsville residents are able and unable to complete their programs.
There are some social problems that, unfortunate as they are, just need to be accepted. They will always exist to one degree or another. One of those problems most people have resigned themselves to is homelessness.
Rosanne Haggerty is not most people.
CS: When did A Wider Circle start and how did you get connected to the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence?
Lidisis Mejia immigrated to Brownsville, Brooklyn from the Dominican Republic last year. Today, she she says her move was “the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Lidisis wanted to build a brighter future for herself and her two children, but once she arrived, she quickly saw that it would not be easy. Though Lidisis is a college graduate and worked as an ESL teacher in the Dominican Republic, her experience did not help her land even entry level positions in the United States. “I was nothing,” she says.
There's a lot going on at Community Solutions, from our national effort to help 75 communities end chronic and veteran homelessness to our local efforts to help whole neighborhoods turn around complex issues like failing health and chronic unemployment. As if that weren't enough, our consulting team is engaged on five different continents right now, helping communities all over the world develop smarter, more data-driven approaches to solving complex social problems.
Check out the latest in this new video:
When Brownsville resident Keon Treadwell graduated from City College of New York in 2012, he expected to use his degree to find better employment prospects. However, his job search didn’t unfold as planned. Despite perusing newspapers and preparing for a job with the NYC Department of Sanitation, Keon found himself stuck in prolonged unemployment. On top of his employment frustrations, tragedy struck: his mother passed away, leaving him to care for his grandmother alone.
Community Solutions Board Member and longtime advisor, Paul Romer, was named Chief Economist of the World Bank on Monday.
We salute Paul for his groundbreaking contributions to economics and community development, as well as for his thoughtful work to support our own efforts to end homelessness and concentrated poverty by helping communities learn to solve problems in smarter, more collaborative ways.
Mind. The Gap.
There’s a staccato to it that immediately takes me back to England, my original home, a place I haven’t lived in for over 10 years now. I can hear, quite clearly, the kindly encouragement to ‘Please mind the gap between the train and the platform’ as your train pulls into any London Underground station.
Wise words by the way, as some of the gaps can get pretty big - up to a foot at Bank Station on the Central and Northern lines (it’s a great long curved station).
When you first meet 21-year-old Quaming Boatwright, his love for fashion quickly becomes apparent. No matter the season, Quaming never misses out on the chance to express his style, which is why you may see this Brownsville, Brooklyn resident sporting a blue collared shirt peppered with small white hats and bowties or staying warm in a silver studded leather and wool jacket.
But Quaming’s eye for beautiful arrangements isn’t superficial. He dedicates himself to putting his best foot forward, a trait helping him make a strong entrance into New York City’s competitive workforce.
For 44% of Brownsville, Brooklyn’s working age adults, the road to steady employment can seem almost hidden. Thousands of local residents - even those qualified for low-, mid-, and high-level positions - are still unable to find jobs despite their best efforts. Submitting applications online, visiting employment centers, and talking to potential employers in-person leads to a story many in Brownsville are too familiar with - basic job search tactics repeatedly yielding poor results.