As Mayor Nutter nears the end of his second term, his administration’s token anti-poverty agenda plans for the long-run.
The Shared Prosperity Plan was released in July 2013 and has served as a framework for how the City addresses poverty. It set hard goals for increasing employment, housing security and access to public benefits. The Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), which created and now administers the plan, has launched a number of initiatives to reach these goals.
In 2014, CEO launched six BenePhilly Centers, which are hubs for helping residents access public benefits. The centers have helped enrolled 6,000 people in programs, totaling more $5 million in new benefits, according to the agency’s data.
It also supported programs that placed 99 people into jobs with the potential to develop into careers. These individuals faced barriers such as low literacy or a criminal record.
But will the plan continue to guide the City’s anti-poverty agenda into the next administration?
“We hope so,” said Eva Gladstein, executive director of CEO. “During the primary, a number of the candidates, including the Republican and Democratic winners, went on the record that they supported the plan and our office.”
“Of course, any incoming mayor will look at it and evaluate it and see if they want to add some pieces to it or shape it in a slightly different direction,” she added.
In the meantime, there are plenty of signs that Shared Prosperity anticipates sticking around. Last month, CEO released a supplementary plan, titled A Running Start Philadelphia, aimed at finding new ways to improve early education for children from birth to age five.
The agency is working on forming a steering committee for the plan consisting of parents, students and representatives from both the public and private sector. Gladstein said that her hope is that the committee will begin its work by September.
Some changes to the plan are to be expected, “but for now we’re going full-speed ahead,” Gladstein said.
Image via Shared Prosperity-30-
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