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Labor Market Intermediaries: West / Southwest IAF labor market intermediaries have brought more than 11,000 people out of poverty level jobs and into living wage careers in Texas, Arizona and Louisiana. By building the political will for investment of public monies into long-term training, local organizations have successfully brought together employers, community college officials and community leaders to create long-term workforce development and education programs for actual jobs in high demand occupations. These jobs pay, on average, $40,000 annually plus benefits and a career path. The number of graduates is expected to grow as projects expand into Des Moines, Phoenix and Albuquerque.
Nehemiah Housing: East Brooklyn Congregations, an IAF affiliate in New York City, pioneered the Nehemiah Housing strategy to replace hundreds of acres of blighted, abandoned housing with large-scale developments of new, high-quality housing affordable for ownership to low and moderate income residents of those communities. Since 1983, over 4500 Nehemiah Homes have been built in East New York, over 1000 in the South Bronx, over 1000 in Baltimore, and over 250 in Washington, DC – completely transforming some of the nation’s most blighted urban communities.
Alliance Schools: When Texas IAF organizations took relational organizing principles into low income neighborhoods and engaged parents and community in the transformation of their schools, they created what became widely recognized as a successful strategy for school reform. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University recently credited Austin Interfaith’s work with Alliance Schools for increasing student achievement on standardized tests by an average of 15-19%, as well as for improving professional culture and parent involvement. Texas IAF Network leaders later built on the success of the Alliance Schools to create the Investment Capital Fund, a $9 million competitive state grant to support school restructuring with community organizations.
Living Wage: BUILD, the IAF Affiliate in Baltimore, conceived of and implemented the nation’s (and world’s) first living wage ordinance, which requires at all city employees and contractors be paid a wage that could bring a family of four above the poverty line. IAF sister organizations in New York, London and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas successfully replicated this campaign in their own municipalities, and the living wage has since been implemented in over 200 communities around the world.
Universal Health Care: The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the IAF affiliate in Massachusetts, spearheaded the state-wide coalition that pushed through Massachusetts’ 2006 bi-partisan universal health care law, signed by then-governor Mitt Romney. This groundbreaking legislation, which provided access to life-saving health coverage for 500,000 Massachusetts residents, became the template for the national Affordable Care Act.
Infrastructure in the Colonias: West / Southwest IAF organizations along the US-Mexico border built the political power, with the Texas IAF network, to move governors, senators, elected officials and the voters of Texas to invest over $2 billion to bring water, wastewater and other infrastructure to neighborhoods in unincorporated areas that lacked it.