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U-M Poverty Solutions Logo U-M Poverty Solutions Logo

Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

Joan and Sanford Weill hall
Suite 5100
735 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091

About Us

Community Engagement

We aim to make progress together. Poverty Solutions works with community groups and policy makers to provide technical assistance, connections to scholars and resources, and data and evidence that informs and drives progress on poverty.

We work with community organizations and individuals in co-creating and seeking new solutions to prevent and alleviate poverty — while looking for ways the university can both share knowledge with and learn from our larger community through community conversations, events, grant opportunities, and more.

 

Working with Community Leaders

A group of people talking in a conference

We work with community leaders across Michigan and the U.S. — with a special focus on Detroit  — to identify and implement concrete, evidence-based strategies that significantly improve economic opportunity and reduce poverty. We investigate our partners’ research questions and learn from residents about their priorities for change.

Connecting with Policymakers and Practitioners

Poverty Solutions partners with U-M scholars and university units such as U-M’s government relations office to link our work to policymakers and practitioners and help shape the policies and programs that can bring about positive change. We host policy roundtables, identify opportunities to deliver expert testimony, develop policy briefs, and more.

Community Resources

 

Poverty Solutions develops community resources to assist the public in making sense of complex public policies and connecting with available resources. These tools aim to bridge information gaps and meet needs identified by community partners.

See community resources

Detroit Community Experts Initiative

Detroit focus group workshop hosted by Poverty Solutions and the Ginsberg Center at the U-M Detroit Center in November 2019.

Poverty Solutions launched a Community Experts Initiative in December 2020 to deepen our commitment to engaging Detroit residents and leaders in our action-based research. Every few months, we convene community leaders with both lived experience and professional experience confronting poverty to share insights and resources to help generate new ideas that can inform our work. Upcoming convenings are posted on our events calendar.

Community Partnership in Action


Investing in Us: Resident Priorities for Economic Mobility in Detroit

In September 2020, Poverty Solutions released a report that lifts up more than a decade’s worth of input from Detroit residents on how to increase economic mobility and decrease poverty in their city. The community-based research project, titled “Investing in Us: Resident Priorities for Economic Mobility in Detroit,” highlights the importance of nuance in building resident-driven approaches to poverty reduction in the city.

Read more


Partnering on the Washtenaw County Opportunity Index

Poverty Solutions is a proud partner of the Washtenaw County 2020 Opportunity Index. The 2020 Opportunity Index uses data points across five categories – health, job access, economic well-being, education and training, and community engagement and stability – to measure how where you live in Washtenaw County impacts your access to opportunity. The updated Index was created by OCED in partnership with Poverty Solutions, along with a variety of community data partners.

Read more


Partnership report outlines barriers to financial success for Detroiters

Poverty Solutions partnered with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to release a study on the financial well–being of Detroit households. The study release kicked off several online convenings to discuss historic and systemic barriers Detroit families face to achieving financial well–being, and will culminate in an innovation challenge to support new solutions to improving financial health in the city.

Read more


Video

Nonprofit leaders that partnered on the #PovertySolutions​ Investing in Us report talk about the importance of including residents in designing strategies to increase economic mobility and decrease poverty in Detroit.

Our Community Partners

Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun

Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, then medical director of the Detroit Health Department

In our collaboration with the University of Michigan, Poverty Solutions has demonstrated a thoughtful and robust approach to community engagement. Detroiters are recognized as experts throughout the research process."

Cindy Eggleton

Cindy Eggleton, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit

Poverty Solutions’ work is unparalleled. I have had the distinct pleasure to work with them on several projects. The depth, care, and pure technical skill is without match regardless of which team member you are working with. In addition, the way they approach the efforts they undertake always puts people first."

Michael Rafferty

Michael Rafferty, president and CEO of New Detroit

Poverty Solutions helped turn a body of raw data into a dynamic tool that will help drive our work and that of our partners. Ultimately, the products that come from our continued engagement will help expand perspective, amplify calls to action, and then have ability to measure progress toward racial justice and equity.”

Gail Anthony

Gail Anthony, CEO of the Community Foundation for Marquette County

Community work happens in the community, from the community. That is really how you get things done — you talk to each other and work together and you find out that common goal. Then you work together to achieve it. We value the engagement of Poverty Solutions not only for their access to data and expertise but their ability to listen intently to the residents to help us identify the core issues and determine solutions to our unique challenges around poverty in our community."

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan's 13th District

Representing and fighting for frontline communities that are suffering from structures and policies that keep them in poverty is difficult when we don't have evidence-based research to document what we are experiencing. That's why I am grateful for Poverty Solutions' timely, data-driven, and accessible research that made clear the link between economic mobility and the disproportionate impact of extreme, highest-in-the-nation car insurance prices in Detroit. Josh Rivera’s testimony (in May 2019) informed policy proposals that will help Michiganders get a fair deal on their auto insurance rates."

U.S. Congresswoman Rosa Delauro

U.S. Congresswoman Rosa Delauro of Connecticut’s 3rd District

What is being produced in our academic communities — the research, the science, the data — is the underpinning from which we as elected officials and policymakers can use to really stand up and fight for these issues. Thank you for this great work. I will use it and I will quote from it."

University of Michigan Partners

We partner with centers at U-M deeply embedded in this work such as the Ginsberg Center and Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center to build upon community relationships, networks, and engagement opportunities already thriving.

Ginsberg Center

The U-M Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning works to cultivate and steward mutually beneficial partnerships between communities and U-M in order to advance social change for the public good. It is one of the nation’s preeminent centers for service learning and has fostered numerous community-university partnerships working toward equitable access to social, political, and economic power. Poverty Solutions supports Ginsberg’s efforts to engage students and faculty in community-university research opportunities.

Connect with Ginsberg

Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center

For nearly 25 years, the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (Detroit URC) has worked to promote health equity in Detroit. Using a community-based participatory research approach, the Detroit URC asks research questions of direct relevance to the community and translates the knowledge gained into programs and policies that build on the community’s resources and strengths. The Detroit URC includes representatives from deeply embedded organizations in Detroit and academic researchers from U-M. It is a nationally recognized leader in creating equitable, action-based research partnerships. Poverty Solutions and the Detroit URC partner on a small grant program for community-academic research teams seeking to identify innovative strategies for poverty prevention and alleviation. Grantees receive expert training and guidance from the Detroit URC’s long-standing community and academic partners and collaborative approaches to understanding and addressing poverty-related challenges in the state.

Connect with the Detroit URC

Contact Us