Breaking down barriers from Iraq to Brooklyn
We sat down with Mary Tobin, newly appointed director of the Brownsville Partnership, to discuss her vision for helping Brownsville address key issues identified by the community, like health, employment and safety. Mary, a West Point graduate and former Army officer, joined Community Solutions after working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“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.
Before his passing in 2012, our Brownsville Partnership’s (BP) Founding Director, Greg “Jocko” Jackson, would constantly remind Brownsville residents that hope is inside. The Brownsville Partnership has worked to carry on Greg’s legacy by empowering residents to use that hope to tackle their own struggles and those facing their neighbors.
Photo: The McKinley family is one of many helped by the Home to Stay program.
Homelessness disproportionately emerges from the poorest neighborhoods in our nation, and that reality begs a question that goes to the heart of ending homelessness: why not go to the places where there is greatest instability and keep vulnerable people from becoming homeless in the first place? That question may seem simple, but -- based on over 20 years' work with the homeless -- it's crucial to the goal of ending, rather than just addressing, homelessness.