$10 million was also committed to the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey to lead the effort.
Back in November 2020, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill to create a $10 million Poverty Action Fund as part of its “moonshot” plan to pull 100,000 Philadelphia residents out of poverty by 2024.
On Feb. 23, the first major investments made by the landmark public-private partnership were announced in a press conference.
Of the $10 million, which was committed to the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey to lead the effort, $4.5 million was split among four community organizations as part of the first of several community challenges created by the Poverty Action Fund.
The first challenge targeted family stability and distributed money to organizations providing guidance to residents regarding free tax preparation, access to benefits and support, and financial and legal help.
The four organizations granted funding for their efforts were the following:
- The Campaign for Working Families: The organization dedicated to helping working families move up the economic ladder through free tax services and other financial counseling initiatives is getting $1 million to lead a coalition promoting equitable financial recovery in North Philadelphia.
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC): The Philadelphia branch of the nationwide nonprofit that supports community development is receiving $1 million to foster economic mobility in Philly’s Latinx community in partnership with the Latino Equitable Development Collective (LEDC), which includes organizations like Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Esperanza, HACE, Ceiba, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha, and the Norris Square Community Alliance.
- African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc.: The Philadelphia-based, statewide organization that provides community development, health, legal and youth services for African, Caribbean and other immigrant groups is getting $1 million to perform outreach to Philadelphia’s African, Asian immigrant communities.
- Diversified Community Services: The Point Breeze organization dedicated to supporting children and families in the surrounding community is getting $1.5 million to provide housing support, benefits access and tax services.
Future community challenges will call on community organizations for partnerships with the city to develop evidence-based solutions for some of Philadelphia’s most pervasive issues.
“Philadelphia deserves an entirely new approach to intractable poverty,” said Councilmember María Quiñones-Sánchez, City Council’s point person for poverty reduction efforts. “The Poverty Action Fund is different than anything we have done before because it leverages public-private partnership and impact measurement to invest directly in people, not programs.”