As a community-based research center, we actively engage with communities so that they are better informed and prepared to action.
Community based groups are vehicles for change in any neighborhood but these groups often lack the technical expertise needed to move some projects along. An important aspect of the Voorhees Center’s work is to actively engage community residents so that they are better informed about what is happening in their communities and prepared to take action.
Austin Coming Together
Austin Coming Together (ACT) evolved out of a study the Voorhees Center produced for the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to better understand the Austin community, which had been hard hit by foreclosure after decades of disinvestment. Convening the many groups in Austin resulted in a needs assessment and new approaches to address community concerns. This included the formation of ACT, which aims to increase the collective impact of its member organizations in improving education, housing and economic development outcomes for the Austin community.
The Healthy Community Plan of West Humboldt Park
The Healthy Community Plan of West Humboldt Park lead to the formation of the Healthy Community Initiative, which is a collaboration of community-based organizations, institutions and residents working towards creating a Healthy West Humboldt Park. For over 10 years the coalition has been initiating healthy community strategies, and building new relationships with groups/organizations to advance healthy concepts in their mission and work.
Gentrification in West Town
Gentrification in West Town: Contested Ground helped the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation educate residents about the topic of gentrification and develop strategies to prevent displacement. This report has since been used by other communities to understand the process and to identify strategies to prevent displacement, and to develop our Gentrification Index and Toolkit.