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ERIC Number: ED409410
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Aug-11
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Growing the Seeds of Strength in High Risk Urban Neighborhoods.
Saegert, Susan
The lives of poor minority city residents demonstrate the diversity, multiple potentials, and vulnerability to external structures. In spite of the stereotypes of failure and the very real problems of the urban poor, there are many strengths among the so-called urban underclass and there are aspects of life that are successful and productive. In New York City some housing has been abandoned by landlords and taken by the city for taxes. Residents of some of these complexes have taken them over with the City's consent, developed management and rent-collection strategies, and operated successfully for some time. Study of aspects of these tenant-owned cooperatives provides keys to the resilience some urban residents display. Channeling human resources into tenant ownership created involvement and made these programs more successful than programs with less stakeholder participation. The experience of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in its "Homebuilders" program confirms the importance of the hidden social ecological dimensions of the lives of the urban poor. An ecological approach to resilience focuses attention on the ways the inner city poor are coping and the strengths the community already has. Unlike interventions in which the program activities and desired outcomes focus on helping the target population find a new niche, programs that improve the quality and outcomes of relationships in the existing ecology are in effect changing that ecology. Programs with the most potential for the improvement of at-risk urban neighborhoods work with highly motivated participants, faced with the threat of real losses, and deal with the strengths and successes in the ecology to build collaborative relationships that respond to community demand. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)