When poverty attacks, it tears at the very fabric of a community. It strikes at all of a community’s defenses in complex ways. As parents and children encounter the sometimes overwhelming stresses of poverty, schools struggle to maintain high educational expectations and performance. As unemployment rises and crime becomes an everyday reality, poverty eats away at a sense of safety and trust. As employers leave, land values drop and homes suffer from neglect. Neighbors retreat from public spaces; children are forced to stay inside at the high cost of their health.
Poverty is complex, and it rarely affects communities in simple or predictable ways. Yet, many of our society’s attempts to address poverty fail to confront it in all of its complexity.
Our approach at Jubilee Park & Community Center has always come from understanding the organic conditions of the community – who lives here and what is needed most. What we have uncovered and developed along the way is a comprehensive strategy intended to strengthen those elements which create prosperity in any neighborhood: community ownership, education, public health, public safety, and housing.