March 28, 2017
From Strengths to Solutions: An Asset-Based Approach to Meeting Community Needs in Brownsville
We are excited to share with you our brand-new report, From Strengths to Solutions: An Asset-Based Approach to Meeting Community Needs in Brownsville.
Over the past year, we’ve engaged individuals living and working in Brownsville to better understand the needs of the community. Children and families in Brownsville have long faced poor outcomes. According to our Community Risk Ranking, Brownsville consistently ranks among the five highest-risk communities for children in New York City. We wanted to find out what drives those poor outcomes, and what assets already exist in Brownsville that local leaders and community partners can build on to bring change to the community.
So we engaged dozens of Brownsville residents and leaders of community organizations to learn more about the ways in which those poor outcomes manifest in their daily lives and what they view as the most pressing needs facing their community.
We discovered a clear shortage of many fundamental resources that should exist in any New York City community, but are particularly critical in communities like Brownsville where the needs are high. For example, with half of Brownsville workers employed in industries that often demand non-traditional hours, our analysis points to a lack of job opportunities in the community and insufficient access to public transportation and child care services that enable residents to work.
Most strikingly, though, we met people all throughout the community who were deeply invested in their neighborhood and committed to improving outcomes. The residents we spoke to expressed great pride in their community and are looking for ways to improve the prospects of their neighborhood. We also were introduced to a number of programs and initiatives underway that are focused on supporting children and families, improving their well-being, and building a strong and vibrant community.
In many cases, the people we met echoed the findings of our research, pointing to a lack of resources in the community as a significant hurdle to meeting basic needs, including preparing young children at an early age for education, providing children and teens with safe, productive programming and activities after school and over the summer, and helping families achieve financial stability and develop economic mobility.
We invite you to spend some time exploring the report and learning more about the challenges and opportunities in Brownsville and our recommendations to build on the opportunities underway in the community. The people of Brownsville face multiples barriers to success, but they are constantly striving to break them down. They deserve increased investment and access to the resources they need along the way.
CCC’s Brownsville Community Asset Mapping project and the resulting report was made possible through a grant by the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation. We are incredibly grateful for their support!