Barrier Busting in the HOPE Village Neighborhood Network

January 26, 2017

Group of volunteers

Can a small amounts of financial support help those living in poverty avoid significant barriers to economic self-sufficiency? That’s the question being explored through a collaborative project between academic researchers at the U-M Ross School of Business and Focus: HOPE, a nationally-recognized civil and human rights organization in Detroit.

Sometimes small barriers, solvable with relatively minor amounts of funding, present major obstacles for those living in poverty. For many Detroit residents, these barriers prevent them from making progress toward their goals of economic self-sufficiency. Through a partnership between the Ross School of Business and Focus: HOPE, a nonprofit civil and human rights organization based in Detroit, this project team will introduce and evaluate a “Barrier Buster” pilot program that provides small grants to address these challenges.  This new barrier buster approach is intended to promote economic self-sufficiency among low-income Detroit residents, and has the potential to inform future programming in the region and across the country.

Michael Gordon, U-M Ross School of Business
Noel Tichy, U-M Ross School of Business
Stephanie Moore, Focus: HOPE
Julie Phenis, Focus: HOPE
Debbie Fisher, Focus: HOPE