Philadelphia, November 18, 2014– The City of Philadelphia released the first year progress report for the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment’s (CEO) comprehensive plan to combat poverty, Shared Prosperity Philadelphia, yesterday at the Uniting to Fight Poverty Summit, which was held at the Community College of Philadelphia’s Center for Business and Industry and co-sponsored by CEO and Councilman Curtis Jones.
“The problem of persistent and intergenerational poverty is complex. There are no easy solutions. Addressing systemic poverty requires a multi-faceted strategy that works to increase available resources while seeking new opportunities,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Every person is affected by poverty, not just those struggling under its heavy weight. That’s why we created Shared Prosperity and have taken a collective impact approach to poverty, including a common agenda, shared measurement system and continuous communication. It is my hope that we can build on Shared Prosperity’s first year success and work together to help Philadelphians lift themselves out of poverty.”
In its first year, Shared Prosperity Philadelphia forged partnerships with government, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, academic institutions and business to expand services to thousands of Philadelphians.
“Even though Philadelphia is still the poorest of the nation’s 10 largest cities, we have a wealth of assets,” said Eva Gladstein, CEO’s Executive Director. “Community leaders, neighborhood and faith-based organizations, as well as academic institutions and an experienced social service community, have played major roles. Besides doing innovative and effective work, their commitment to this partnership is making a difference.”
The progress report measures Shared Prosperity’s implementation of the principles of collective impact in five areas: job creation and workforce development; access to public benefits; early learning; housing security and affordability; and economic security and asset building.
The report also detailed the City’s selection for several federal and national designations:
- Citing Shared Prosperity’s collective action model as well-suited to “place-based initiatives”, Philadelphia was awarded three major “place-based” designations: two federal CHOICE grants to improve housing and neighborhoods in North Philadelphia; and West Philadelphia as one of the first five Promise Zones in the nation.
- Philadelphia was also chosen as one of three “City Accelerator” projects in the U.S. The initiative, sponsored by Living Cities and the Citi Foundation, will provide technical assistance to increase access to City benefit programs like property tax and utility bill relief.
“No one wants to be poor; we are often thrust into it or born into it and it’s often a hard climb out of it,” said Councilman Jones. “But Shared Prosperity and all of its partners are finally giving the tools Philadelphia needs to tackle poverty.”
Read the progress report here: www.sharedprosperityphila.org.