In the news

Community solutions to homelessness, violence save lives, money

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Homelessness and violence are plagues of urban life that are as deadly as any cancer. Experts say both take as many as 25 years off your life.
Speakers at a recent forum presented by USA TODAY and the insurer Cigna said there are proven ways to tackle these challenges, but lasting solutions require government funding and the involvement of local residents who know their needs best.

Rockford Becomes First Community to End Veteran Homelessness

Monday, January 23, 2017
The City of Rockford Department of Human Services announced that the City has been recognized as the first community in the national 'Zero: 2016' movement to effectively end homelessness among local veterans.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veteran Affairs and the national nonprofit agency, Community Solutions, on hand at a news conference Tuesday to recognize the Forest City.

USA TODAY forum examines solutions to community health problems, inequities

Thursday, December 3, 2015
Health care spending last year rose at the highest rate since 2008, thanks in large part to far more people being insured but also a 12% increase in drug spending, federal data out Wednesday showed.
The rate of growth in health spending is lower than before the Affordable Care Act took effect, but many believe the cost increases require more of a focus on non-medical solutions to health issues.
National experts will explore some of these evidence-backed programs during a Friday morning forum that will be live-streamed on

No veteran is homeless in Montgomery County, officials announce

Monday, December 21, 2015
Montgomery County has effectively ended veteran homelessness after a half-million-dollar push to create housing for people who joined the military and then found themselves struggling after their service.
“Montgomery County now has a coordinated and efficient system [for veterans] to move quickly from homelessness to permanent housing,” County Council member George L. Leventhal (D-At Large) said in a statement.

More Needed to End Homelessness than a Home

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In 1990, at the age of 29, I put together a small team to rescue a crumbling, bankrupt 1920s hotel in New York’s Times Square. The building was essentially a burned-out and infested flophouse, but our determined bunch restored it to its original splendor, eventually creating 652 studio apartments for low-income New Yorkers, especially those exiting homelessness.

Designed to Work: A Neighborhood-Based Strategy to Connect People to Jobs

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In New York City, unemployment has fallen well below the 10%-plus peak it reached after the global financial meltdown and recession of 2008. While that’s hopeful news, it obscures a glaring divide: This recovery hasn’t benefitted the city’s neighborhoods equally. Take Brownsville, Brooklyn, for example, where only 56% of the working-age population is employed or actively looking for work, compared with 63% citywide.

Community Solutions: Revitalizing Neighborhoods Through Skilled Volunteering

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Multi-generational poverty is a chronic problem in many U.S. cities these days. Studies show that children who are born into poverty due to unemployment, low wages, illness or other factors are often likely to repeat that cycle throughout their lives.

It’s not as if these people fail to recognize the credos that fostered the American work ethic: effort, elbow grease and ingenuity, researchers say. But they lack opportunity: The social and economic networks within their reach are limited and don’t always allow for success.

Formerly Homeless Veteran Has Special Moving Day in Maryland

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Montgomery County nonprofit helped give a previously homeless, disabled veteran a new home on Veterans Day. The effort is part of the Zero: 2016 campaign to end homelessness for all veterans in the county by the end of 2015. "I thought it was impossible," U.S. Army veteran Heyradine Oumarou said.