Ray Graham is a 17-year-old Brownsville, Brooklyn native with boundless ambition. Acting, music, comedy, and visual art are among the list of professional pursuits that Ray confidently keeps in his sights. His creative energies and uncommon ideas have made him an asset to the community engagement and placemaking teams of the Brownsville Partnership, an initiative of Community Solutions, as well as a number of local partner organizations.
Home to the largest concentration of public housing in New York City, Brownsville, Brooklyn has suffered from years of disinvestment, leading critical infrastructure to crumble, street safety to diminish, and once-bustling commercial corridors to lose foot traffic. While Brownsville residents have ideas they know can create positive change in their neighborhood, they often don’t control the means for making those changes happen. Instead, systematic neglect and bureaucratic red tape too often overwhelm aspirations for safer and healthier streets.
Last night, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum celebrated the National Design Awards gala in New York City (full video). Community Solutions founder and president Rosanne Haggerty was honored with the 2015 National Design Award in the category of Design Mind.
Danny worked as a carpenter all of his adult life, until an accident injured his back and caused him to lose his right eye. As a result of his injury, he found it difficult to continue working and contractors stopped hiring him, citing the insurance risk.
Danny soon lost his home and began moving from couch to couch. He eventually ended up outside, living in the woods of southern Mississippi for six years. As Danny's health issues worsened, he lost most of his mobility and began to depend on others living in the encampment, where he "became part of the environment of the camp."
Yesterday, the Institute of Global Homelessness, which Community Solutions helped to launch in 2014, released the IGH Framework, a new global approach to understanding homelessness that develops a common language for shared measurement and action. This is the most credible effort to date to grapple with the problem of homelessness around the world in a way that will allow countries to work together for real solutions.
In this post, Beth Sandor, Director of our national Zero: 2016 initiative, explains how communities are measuring the end of veteran homelessness and why it matters.
Dwight Teal is a warm-hearted bike mechanic from the North End of Hartford. During the summer, he dedicated his Tuesday afternoons to fixing bikes at free repair sessions organized by Community Solutions.
Paul Howard, Senior Director of Knowledge Sharing at Community Solutions, spent the week at the inaugural Cities for Life conference in Medellín, Colombia. The conference brought together more than 1,000 people from 120 cities from around the world, including 60 mayors, to share knowledge and tackle together the complex challenges facing our cities.
Paul sends the following dispatch from Medellín:
This week, we say goodbye to a longtime member of the Community Solutions team, Andrew Haupt, who has accepted an exciting position as Chief Operations Officer to our partners at the Rapid Results Institute. Andrew’s many talents were felt in senior posts in nearly every part of Community Solutions. His contributions to the organization and its development have been invaluable.
Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University and author of So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America. Last week Mr. Edelman spent time with Community Solutions’ Brownsville Partnership to learn more about our approach to revitalizing low-income neighborhoods and to share his experience.