In a city as prosperous as San Francisco, residents living in HOPE SF public housing in the city’s southeast neighborhoods have lived in poverty for many generations. Families living in HOPE SF earn less than $14,000 per year; 53% of students are chronically absent from school; most adults have not gone beyond high school; and 90% of young people, ages 18-24, are unemployed.
It is absolutely true that breaking the cycle of poverty requires institutional and systemic change, but equally important is understanding and addressing personal experiences and individual transformations that have to occur for people to move from poverty to economic independence.
A few weeks ago, I attended the Disrupting Poverty Conference in Boston, hosted by the Crittenton Women’s Union. Here are five take-aways from the conference that we can apply to our work helping transform San Francisco’s HOPE SF communities and other impoverished communities:
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