Five Years of Impact:
Fall of 2021 marked the five-year anniversary of the launch of Poverty Solutions. Since then, we have undertaken hundreds of projects, established powerful community partnerships throughout the country, and demonstrated the myriad ways we can connect our research to policy and practice. In this five-year anniversary report, we offer a brief look at some of the people and projects that have helped advance our efforts to prevent and alleviate the devastating effects of poverty.
Director H. Luke Shaefer
Poverty Solutions is a presidential initiative of the University of Michigan that partners with communities and policymakers to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty. In confronting the challenges of poverty, we know scholars do not have all the answers. Yet we have an important role to play. We can use data, evidence, and analysis to identify critical issues and evidence-based solutions to inform action.
Highlights from Our First Five Years
THE ARC OF SYSTEMS CHANGE
The following stories demonstrate how Poverty Solutions has worked with partners to inform concrete policy change in the areas of expanding the Child Tax Credit, increasing access to affordable housing, and improving systems to identify students experiencing homelessness. Our approach begins with listening to community input to set our research agenda, followed by analyzing data and conducting research to identify existing policy gaps, sharing those findings and proposing evidence-based interventions, supporting the implementation of new policies, then evaluating the outcome of those new policies, and sharing the findings.
Strengthening the cash safety net to reduce poverty and hardship
Building a path to safe and stable housing for all Detroiters
Addressing student homelessness amid the pandemic
Amplifying impact through robust partnerships
Engaging Students & Faculty
Poverty Solutions has engaged nearly 650 students in research assistantships, projects, courses, and events representing nearly all 19 schools and colleges. Our faculty partnerships reflect the full range of expertise across all U-M departments and campuses.
Supporting Our Community
Recognizing U-M’s impact on the local community, Poverty Solutions pursues partnerships with a variety of government officials, service providers, criminal justice administrators, educators, business leaders, and community advocates in Washtenaw County to promote equity and reduce poverty.
Contributing to Detroit Initiatives
Poverty Solutions continues to work closely with city officials, service providers, faculty researchers, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, and resident leaders in Detroit on a variety of projects aimed at poverty prevention and alleviation.
Addressing Issues in Michigan
Through its partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Poverty Solutions has contributed to numerous evidence-based policy changes across the state. Other recent state partnerships have focused on the employment risks of undocumented workers and addressing poverty among children.
Poverty Solutions’ research has played an important role in policies implemented across the country. From enhancing early childhood education and access to COVID-19 stimulus payments to identifying America's most disadvantaged communities and providing congressional testimonies, our scholars have become recognized as anti-poverty experts on the national level.