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Our Impact

2018 Impact Report

Welcome to the 2018 Poverty Solutions Impact Report.
Our work aims to address the most pressing economic mobility challenges of our time, and progress is only possible because we do it together — through partnerships with university units, community, policymakers and practitioners across the state and nation. We invite you to learn more and to join us in these efforts.


faculty affiliates from across U–M’s three campuses

specializing in economic growth, health, housing and more


projects supported in the city of Detroit through the partnership on economic mobility

Supported more than


projects across campus


Students involved through:

  • Research assistant opportunities providing technical assistance on more than 20 projects.
  • The CASC Certificate program
  • The Speaker Series course

Attracted an additional

$8+ million

in external funding for important work happening
across U-M

Luke Shaefer image

Poverty Solutions has come a long way since it was formally announced in fall 2016. We have supported nearly 30 projects in 15 of U-M’s 19 schools and colleges.

We’ve formed new partnerships and deepened existing ones, and developed systems, a theory of change, and modes of work.

Our collective accomplishments, many of them highlighted in the pages that follow, are enabled by what we do with our partners — both here at U-M and across the state and nation.

The Partnership on Economic Mobility
Through the Partnership on Economic Mobility between Poverty Solutions and the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office, we have committed to making our work in Detroit a signature effort of our initiative. With staff members embedded at City Hall, others active in the community, and deeply engaged faculty from across U-M’s campus, we aim to be a backbone organization for working in partnership with Detroit communities and the city to catalyze an anti-poverty agenda, build capacity to implement key elements of that agenda, and pursue an effort to radically bolster economic mobility and reduce poverty citywide.

Areas of focus

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Jobs: A thriving workforce

House icon

Housing: A stable place to
call home

House icon

Education: A path to
educational excellence

Accelerating Training

Opportunities for Student Engagement

Poverty Solutions engages students across the university through a diverse range of programs and opportunities. We host social and networking events, offer expertise and background as guest lecturers in U-M courses, and work with university and community partners to offer interactive simulations and other learning opportunities, engaging hundreds of students. Since 2017, more than 100 students have had a formal sustained relationship with Poverty Solutions through the course, certificate program, or research assistant opportunities, and hundreds more have participated in a Poverty Solutions event or outreach opportunity. In 2019, students will begin to contribute to shaping future academic offerings through a Student Advisory Board.

This certificate has helped me to learn and apply poverty alleviation theories and approaches to respectful community interaction. I believe that its impact goes beyond students involved in the program. The opportunities for research, networking and direct impact give us the tools to fight systemic oppression of the poor.

Payton Watt (pictured above right)

In 2017, Poverty Solutions engaged
students from

schools and colleges across campus to work directly with poverty related research and programs.