This week Capital Workforce Partners Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program participants and a team of 60 Aetna volunteers working with Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity joined Community Solutions in the physical reactivation and beautification of three vacant lots in Northeast Hartford. The groups helped clean up and sow wildflower seeds across sites located along Main Street, Garden Street, and Barbour Street.
Brownsville native Avilda Whittmore’s Honeybee Face & Body Art kiosk is one of the biggest crowd pleasers at MGB POPS, an open air marketplace that Community Solutions helped to establish in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The marketplace debuted last winter in response to residents’ requests for high-quality community spaces and a diversity of retail options in this historically low-amenity neighborhood.
“Two heads are better than one,” goes the old adage.
At Community Solutions, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about collaboration. How can we bring disparate parties together and establish opportunities to ideate and take action around the most pressing challenges facing communities across the country and around the world? Again and again, we’ve seen that ideas become more powerful when they’re mixed with, pushed by, and built upon the ideas of others.
Community Solutions President Rosanne Haggerty was the keynote speaker at this week's annual gathering of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers. The event is the largest gathering of its kind, with more than 1,000 people from the affordable housing and community development fields in attendance. Below are Rosanne's remarks as prepared for delivery.
Thank you very much. It’s an honor to be here with all of you.
We’ve all heard the ubiquitous Fish Proverb: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” The message, of course, is that it’s more useful in the long term to teach someone how to do something for themselves then to do it for them.
While Hartford, CT is known for its economic wealth and rich history, it’s also plagued by stark socio-economic divisions that play out across the city’s 16 neighborhoods. With the most diminished life expectancy in the state of Connecticut, Hartford’s northeast neighborhood stands as an important example of what can be lost when a community lacks clear lines of access to things such as quality healthcare, transportation, fresh foods, and safe, quality communal spaces - resources that neighborhoods just a few miles away readily enjoy.
Once a month, we highlight the most uplifting news we can find from across our work. This month, we're telling the story of CC, a 15-year veteran of the US Army who battled homelessness and recently found a home through one of our Zero: 2016 partner communities.
This week, more than 100 researchers, policymakers and human service practitioners from around the world will gather in Chicago for the first ever Conference on Homelessness in a Global Landscape. Sponsored by the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH), the event is a watershed moment for housing advocates around the world, who will use it to drive improved collaboration on an unprecedented global scale.
A year ago, 425 Mother Gaston Boulevard was just another empty lot in Brownsville overwhelmed by patches of weeds and scattered piles of debris. With historically little commercial investment coming into this low-income Brooklyn neighborhood, passersby were out of the habit of imagining what could be productively done with this bleak space.
Okay, you are doing the fundamentals of ending homelessness in your community: using mainstream services, only doing what works, you know all of your neighbors experiencing homelessness by name, and you’ve collected all of this by-name data in the form of an organized and prioritized list.