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US Water Alliance;
Access to water and sanitation services should not hinge on background, geography, or how much money someone makes—but it often does. Studies show that between 2012 and 2019, local water bills increased 31 percent nationally, far outpacing inflation and the consumer price index. Historical declines in federal support for water infrastructure have made this trend even worse. Local officials and water utility leaders have had no choice but to raise local water and sewer rates to pay for the needed operation, capital, and maintenance costs. Without federal and state support, local water and wastewater rates have increasingly become unaffordable for millions of Americans, and utilities have operated with outdated billing systems and often struggled to enroll low-income residents into the modest assistance available.Financial stress incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has brought water affordability into sharp focus, and innovators have been seeking solutions to meet their communities' rising needs. The water and wastewater utilities in Louisville, Kentucky, provide one such case. Louisville shows how new, smarter solutions to bill relief are helping people in need while improving the utility-customer relationship by balancing care, bill assistance, and debt relief with needed revenue stability to maintain essential water systems. This case study explores key facets of the challenge, what Louisville achieved for its residents, and how the city's approach provides a model for other utilities to consider as they move forward. Sections discuss: How traditional customer assistance efforts have failed to meet customer needs, struggled with enrollment, and overlooked their fundamental purpose of guarding against revenue instability.What a modern, user-friendly approach to bill assistance looks like and how, combined with compassionate messaging, it can shift utility-customer payment and service relationship for the better.Why establishing innovative bill assistance options is especially wise given current and future federal funding opportunities to provide debt relief.Longer-term actions the federal government should prioritize to make safe, reliable water and wastewater service affordable for all.
University of Louisville;
This report describes and compares bench and fugitive warrant arrests in Jefferson County, Kentucky (hereinafter Louisville Metro) and the City of St. Louis, Missouri during the period 2006 to 2019. The report is based on two site-specific reports that focus on the individual jurisdictions (see "Warrant Arrests in the City of St. Louis: 2002 –2019" and "Examining Warrant Arrests in Jefferson County, Kentucky: 2006 to 2019" for additional details). The goal is to shed light on the enforcement of warrants, which are a large part of policing practice. This comparative approach provides insight into variability in the levels and nature of warrant arrests in communities with differing legal contexts and government structures. This report is a starting point to understand trends in warrant enforcement across two jurisdictions with similar social and economic landscapes. It is our hope that the findings are useful for stakeholders as they consider ways to make the criminal legal system more efficient and equitable.
National Fund for Workforce Solutions;
The Norton Healthcare case study is the first in CareerSTAT's business practice series on how healthcare employers invest in the skills and careers of their frontline workers. This study documents Norton Healthcare's approach to workforce development and program measurement with a focus on how strategic goals, workforce needs, and programatic tools influence decision making and investment goals.
National Fund for Workforce Solutions;
National Fund Senior Advisor Steve Dawson speaks with Universal Woods' management and frontline workers to understand how a company can invest in its long-term success by investing in its employees. From that premise flows all major workforce decisions:Eliminate the role of supervisorShare financial informationBuild team-managed teamsInvest in everyone's educationEncourage participation throughout the organization
Data Collaborative for Justice at John Jay College;
This paper, which is a product of DCJ's Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice ("the Research Network"), examines long-term trends in lower-level enforcement across seven U.S. jurisdictions: Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY; New York City, NY; Prince George's County; MD; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. It draws both on reports that were produced through partnerships between local researchers and criminal justice agency partners as well as updated data the Research Network has published through an interactive online dashboard. The paper analyzed cross-jurisdictional trends in enforcement, including misdemeanor arrest rates broadly, by demographics (race/age/sex), and by charge.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation;
Given the impact that social factors have on health status and expenditures, and the shift toward value-based payment models that reward providers based on outcomes, health care organizations (HCO) and community-based organizations (CBO) across the country are increasingly working together to address patients' social needs. In Massachusetts, MassHealth is investing in accountable care organizations and community partners to integrate physical health, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports and also funding certain approved "flexible services" that address health-related social needs that are not otherwise covered as MassHealth benefits. Based on a review of promising HCO-CBO partnership models, this brief outlines characteristics of effective HCO-CBO partnerships and provides recommendations to guide the development of successful collaborations between health care and social service organizations.
Union of Concerned Scientists;
Cities all over the U.S. are coming up with innovative ways to fight back against a failing food system that is sickening millions of Americans each year. In this report, we present case studies of five local initiatives to increase access to healthy food. These solutions may serve as a model for other communities--and as a reminder that we need to transform the dysfunctional federal policies that make healthy food access harder than it should be.
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity;
In April 2014, a convening of national housing equity experts was hosted in Jacksonville, Florida by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The convening's purpose was to gain insight from national stakeholders on affordable housing and equitable development challenges and opportunities in Jacksonville. From this two-day engagement, a number of major challenges and opportunities facing Jacksonville's housing development were clearly identified. Two of these findings directly inform this research effort.First, to meet the needs of Jacksonville's marginalized communities, an intentional focus on equity must stay at the forefront of community housing and development strategies. Second, if equity-focused development efforts are better aligned with health and/or educational stakeholders, affordable housing and equitable development could blossom in Jacksonville.Stable and affordable housing is essential to educational success and positive health outcomes for families and for communities. While the linkage between housing and educational and health outcomes is clear, educational and health stakeholders have not traditionally been deeply engaged in meeting housing need. Emerging initiatives across the country are countering this disengagement, demonstrating the important role that anchor institutions can play in supporting local housing needs. Community anchor institutions, such as educational entities (particularly higher education) and health care organizations can be powerful institutional resources to support equitable housing and community development. Throughout the nation, successful anchor institute-led housing interventions have been transformational in addressing community housing needs and community revitalization. These efforts have been most effective when equity goals are integrated into the design and implementation of anchor institute-led housing efforts.The following report provides select case studies with a strong social equity focus and comparability to Jacksonville. We identify lessons learned and summarize models which can be equally transformative in Jacksonville from these case studies. We also draw upon recent research and scholarship, and our own interviews with experts and practitioners. The goal of providing these lessons learned and model practices is to help inform, and potentially engage, various anchor institutes in Jacksonville -- organizations with resources that could help meet community housing needs and support equitable community development. This could help strengthen social, educational, economic and health outcomes for all of Jacksonville, including its most vulnerable residents.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago;
Afterschool programs are seen as a way to keep low-income children safe and to foster the skills needed to succeed in school and life. Many cities are creating afterschool systems to ensure that such programs are high-quality and widely available. One way to do so is to ensure afterschool systems develop and maintain a data system.This interim report presents early findings from a study of how afterschool systems build their capacity to understand and improve their practices through their data systems. It examines afterschool data systems in nine cities that are part of The Wallace Foundation's Next Generation Afterschool System-Building initiative, a multi-year effort to strengthen systems that support access to and participation in high-quality afterschool programs for low-income youth. The cities are Baltimore, Md., Denver, Colo., Fort Worth, Texas, Grand Rapids, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla.,Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., Philadelphia, Pa., and Saint Paul, Minn.To date, research on data use in afterschool systems has focused more on the implementation of technology than on what it takes to develop and sustain effective data use. This study found that the factors that either enabled or hampered the use of data in afterschool systems—such as norms and routines, partner relationships, leadership and coordination, and technical knowledge—had as much to do with the people and process components of the systems as with the technology.Strategies that appear to contribute to success include: Starting small. A number of cities intentionally started with a limited set of goals for data collection and use, and/or a limited set of providers piloting a new data system, with plans to scale up gradually. Ongoing training. Stakeholders learned that high staff turnover required ongoing introductory trainings to help new hires use management information systems and data. Providing coaching and developing manuals also helped to mitigate the effects of turnover and to further the development of more experienced and engaged staff. Outside help. Systems varied in how they used the expertise of outside research partners. Some cities identified a research partner who participated in all phases of the development of their data systems. Others used the relationship primarily to help analyze and report data collected by providers. Still others did not engage external research partner, but identified internal staff to support the system. In any of these scenarios, dedicated staffers with skills in data analytics were key.
American Youth Policy Forum;
Whatever It Takes: How Twelve Communities Are Reconnecting Out-Of-School Youth documents what committed educators, policymakers, and community leaders across the country are doing to reconnect out-of-school youth to the social and economic mainstream. It provides background on the serious high school dropout problem and describes in-depth what twelve communities are doing to reconnect dropouts to education and employment training. It also includes descriptions of major national program models serving out-of-school youth.
OMG Center for Collaborative Learning;
This report highlights key lessons from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Community Partnerships portfolio evaluation. It assesses the communities' progress over the course of the investment, and describes their work in the areas of building public commitment, using data, building and sustaining partnerships, and aligning policies and practices. The OMG Center served as the national evaluator of this initiative and the report also discusses the steps these communities can take to sustain their programs.