The Annie E. Casey Foundation is improving the neighborhoods where young people and their families live by promoting access to high-quality schools, affordable homes and good jobs. Read about our work here.
When neighborhoods have quality schools, accessible job opportunities, reliable transportation and safe places for recreation, young people are better positioned for success in adulthood. Yet millions of children live in high-poverty neighborhoods that lack these critical assets. Here’s how we’re working to change the odds.
Building supportive communities that offer children and adults a range of educational and economic opportunities
High-quality early child care and education are key to healthy development but out of reach for too many kids.
<p>High-quality early child care and <a href="/resources/the-first-eight-years-giving-kids-a-foundation-for-lifetime-success" title="The First Eight Years">education</a> are key to healthy development but <a href="/blog/report-inadequate-child-care-is-costing-maryland-billions" title="Inadequate Child Care is Costing Maryland Billions">out of reach</a> for too many kids.</p>
High-quality early child care + ed = key to healthy child development but out of reach for many.
<p>Low-income parents and other adult residents need convenient, ready access to <a href="/work/past-work/center-for-working-families" title="Center for Working Families">training, education, financial counseling</a> and other services that can <a href="/work/economic-opportunity/work-education-and-income" title="Work, Education and Income">help them get jobs</a> to support their families and achieve financial stability.</p>
Job training + ed + financial coaching help low-income adults find good jobs, financial stability.
For many families, housing costs take a significant chunk out of an already meager paycheck, and being forced to move again and again is a reality. Their communities need more housing options that remain affordable for the long term.
<p>For <a href="https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/71-children-in-low-income-households-where-housing-costs-exceed-30-percent-of-income#detailed/1/any/false/871,867,133,38,35,18/any/376,377" target="_blank" title="Data Center: Children in low-income households where housing costs exceed 30% of income">many families</a>, housing costs take a significant chunk out of an already meager paycheck, and being forced to move again and again is a reality. Their communities need more housing options that remain affordable for the long term.</p>
For many families, #housing costs swallow up paychecks. Communities need affordable options.
Developing local, state and national partnerships to promote policy reform and community change on a broader scale
<p>Changes and innovative approaches to policies and practices in areas such as <a href="/blog/casey-joins-effort-to-help-millions-of-americans-achieve-housing-stability" title="Casey Joins Effort to Help Millions of Americans Achieve Housing Stability">housing</a>, <a href="https://prosperitynow.org/" target="_blank" title="Prosperity Now">economic and community development</a> and financing can help <a href="/resources/shared-prosperity-stronger-regions" title="Report: Shared Prosperity, Stronger Regions">revitalize disinvested communities</a>.</p>
Innovative policies, practices in housing, development, financing can revitalize disinvested communities.
<p><a href="/blog/new-partnerships-to-strengthen-communities-in-buffalo-columbus-and-san-anto" title="Blog: New Partnerships to Strengthen Communities in Buffalo, Columbus and San Antonio">Well-established local leadership</a> and a broad range of public and private partners help sustain neighborhood improvements over time.</p>
Established local leaders + range of public-private partners help sustain neighborhood improvements.
<p><a href="/blog/how-funders-can-help-anchor-institutions-strengthen-local-economies" title="How Funders Can Help Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies">Universities, hospitals and other anchor institutions</a> rooted in urban areas can <a href="/resources/the-anchor-dashboard-1" title="Report: The Anchor Dashboard">help fuel the local economy</a> by supplying jobs for residents and supporting development in surrounding disinvested neighborhoods.</p>
Universities, hospitals + other urban anchors can fuel local economy w/ jobs, development support.
Documenting best practices in community development
<p>The success of <a href="/resources/advancing-two-generation-approaches-1/" title="Advancing Two-Generation Approaches">children and their parents</a> is intertwined. Programs promoting kids’ health and educational needs must go hand in hand with services for their parents and caregivers, such as <a href="/work/past-work/center-for-working-families" title="Center for Working Families">job training and financial coaching</a>.</p>
Child and parent success is connected. Programs for kids should link w/ services for parents.
Transforming a neighborhood may involve rehabbing or building new housing on a scale that disrupts a community to ultimately establish safety and stability. Such projects should put people first, lessen the impact of relocation on residents and create a mixed-income community with affordable homes.
<p>Transforming a neighborhood may involve <a href="/resources/responsible-demolition-a-baltimore-case-study-with-national-implications" title="Report: Responsible Demolition (A Baltimore Case Study with National Implications)">rehabbing or building new housing</a> on a scale that disrupts a community to ultimately establish safety and stability. Such projects should put people first, lessen the impact of relocation on residents and create a mixed-income community with affordable homes.</p>
<p>Resident involvement and leadership can mean the difference between short-lived and <a href="/blog/community-engagement-is-key-ingredient-in-casey-recipe-for-results" title="Blog: Community Engagement is Key Ingredient in Casey Recipe for Results">lasting change in a community</a>. They should be <a href="/resources/residents-engaged-in-strengthening-families-and-neighborhoods" title="Report: Residents Engaged in Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods">actively involved</a> in <a href="/blog/many-strategies-one-goal-empowering-residents" title="Blog: Many Strategies, One Goal (Empowering Residents)">shaping their neighborhood’s future</a>.</p>
Resident leadership helps create lasting community change.
Working to ensure children and families living in several Southside Atlanta neighborhoods — known collectively as Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V) — have access to the opportunities needed to thrive: good schools, safe and affordable housing, income and careers.
We partnered with community development initiatives in Buffalo, New York, Columbus, Ohio, and San Antonio, Texas, to improve the quality of schools for kids and build job and parenting skills for the adults in their lives.
Making Connections was Casey’s most significant long-term, multisite effort to demonstrate that poor results can be changed for the better for kids and families in tough neighborhoods. The initiative's core belief that kids do well when their families do well and families do better when they live in supportive communities continues to guide our current two-generation approach.
Central to Casey's community change approach is the commitment to nurture and sustain strong families, which includes engaged and contributing fathers. Investments to promote responsible fatherhood focused on providing public education, building support networks and conducting research to improve parent involvement.
Faith communities play a trusted role in the social fabric of communities and are a particularly powerful resource for supporting the needs of kids and families. As part of Making Connections, investments advanced the efforts of faith-based organizations primarily focusing on prisoner reentry and children with incarcerated parents.
Launched in 1994, this seven-year community-change initiative developed residents who could lead local organizations and build partnerships with funders and other community groups. Many of the lessons and relationships forged during this time paved the way for the emergence of Making Connections.
Launched in 1993, Plain Talk demonstrated that preventing teen pregnancy requires community-based strategies that mobilize adults who can provide teens with clear and credible messages about sex, the risks of pregnancy and other health issues. Plain Talk's materials and messages have been widely replicated.
Our first large, community-based project, New Futures was launched in 1988 to test the idea that strong political leadership, interagency collaboration and other innovations could reduce teen pregnancy and school dropout rates and improve school achievement and youth employment rates over a five-year period. What we learned has informed nearly every initiative that has followed.