Our work is characterized by boldness, creativity and a commitment to innovation. This blog offers a space to highlight the work of our team members as well as their unique perspectives on ongoing and emerging issues related to homelessness, health and community building.
The first weekend of May brought two opportunities to explore Brownsville, Brooklyn through the eyes of legendary urban writers: activist, Jane Jacobs, and literary critic, Alfred Kazin.
We always knew this day would come, but it used to seem much further away! Today, the 100,000 Homes Campaign announced that its participating communities had housed more than 50,000 chronic and vulnerable homeless Americans. That number includes more than 1,000 families, 5,000 seniors, and 15,000 veterans of the United States armed forces. We couldn't be prouder to celebrate this day.
There is a close alignment with Community Solutions’ values and those of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). JVC is a Catholic, Jesuit year-long service commitment, with more than 300 volunteers, known as JVs, who live together in approximately 60 communities throughout the U.S. and the world. We currently have two JVs who are working with us to end homelessness, Caitlin DiMaina at the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Los Angeles and Bryan Woll, who is working with the Brownsville Partnership in Brooklyn.
About the program:
The Greg Jackson Community Fellowship is an opportunity for young scholars from Brownsville to give a year of service back to their community. Created in honor of our late founding director, Greg "Jocko" Jackson, the annual fellowship supports a young college graduate from Brownsville to work with the Brownsville Partnership to advance the neighborhood. The Fellowship was established with proceeds of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Award that recognized Rosanne Haggerty and the Brownsville Partnership in 2012.
Greg Jackson, the late founding director of the Brownsville Partnership, described with nostalgia the Brownsville, Brooklyn he knew as a child. He recalled regular “rent parties,” during which neighbors chipped in to help out those who had lost a job or fallen ill, and how residents literally pooled their pennies in collection jars to build the Brownsville Boys Club (which later became the Brownsville Recreation Center) to invest in the future of their young people.
After following in the footsteps of urban planning innovator Jane Jacobs, our President Rosanne Haggerty received the prestigious Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. The Rockefeller Foundation presented Rosanne with the award earlier this month at a well-attended ceremony in the lobby of Frank Gehry’s unique IAC building.
Becky Kanis, Community Solutions’ director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House this week. Becky was one of 14 female veterans honored for providing “exemplary leadership in many areas at the local, state, regional and national level after honorably serving the country.” First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki were on hand to salute these remarkable women.
“Hope is inside” was murmured, preached and shouted throughout the Brownsville Partnership’s two day HOPE Summit, held on the last weekend of February.