At HCZ®, we are committed to helping others benefit from our successes and the many lessons we have learned over the years. In 2003, we created the Practitioners Institute to share information about our work, teach best practices, and provide pivotal guidance to groups from across the U.S. and around the world invested in replicating our model.
We strongly believe that our comprehensive, place-based approach to educating children and rebuilding an entire community will help transform neighborhoods struggling with issues like poverty, poor health, failing schools, and high crime rates. The key is strategically applying our core principles, not recreating our exact programs. Each community has unique needs to be addressed and resources on which to capitalize in building a pipeline to serve local children and families at scale.
We tell visitors straight-out: this is tough work and you need to have long-term commitment to see kids all the way to adulthood. There is no quick fix or magic solution—but there is hope. We are proving, each and every day, that change is possible.
For a nominal fee, community delegations, including public officials, educators, and nonprofit leaders, can attend either a three-hour or a three-day workshop. Since 2005, the Institute has hosted workshops for 424 U.S. communities, from Baltimore to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, and 115 international delegations from countries such as Indonesia, Romania, and Singapore.
To apply to attend the Practitioners Institute, please click on the link below.
The success of our approach has garnered the attention of community and government leaders nationwide and inspired a number of federal initiatives. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama pledged to create a comprehensive anti-poverty program inspired by the HCZ model to help improve the outcomes of children in distressed communities. In 2010, President Obama made good on his pledge, launching the Promise Neighborhoods program as part of his Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.
The Promise Neighborhoods program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education and provides federal funding to distressed communities to help them build cradle-to-career pipelines with high-quality, data-driven educational, community, health, and social services to support children and families and significantly improve their outcomes. Since its launch, more than 850 applications for funding have been submitted from 48 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico. In total, over $200 million in planning and implementation grants has been awarded to 48 communities in 24 states and DC.
To help ensure the success of grantees, HCZ partnered with PolicyLink and the Center for the Study of Social Policy to create the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Together, we conduct policy and advocacy work for the Promise Neighborhoods program and provide assistance and support to communities that have received grants, as well as others that scored high on the applications, but did not receive federal funding.
Promise Neighborhoods is just one of a cluster of anti-poverty initiatives that HCZ has helped inspire. In 2010, the Obama administration also launched the Choice Neighborhoods program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Choice Neighborhoods focuses on revitalizing public and HUD-assisted housing to promote economically sustainable, mixed-income communities. And, in January 2014, President Obama announced a new Promise Zones Initiative to help create jobs and increase economic security in 20 communities through greater access to resources and strong federal partnerships with local business and community leaders. Of the first five Zones that have been selected, three are also Promise Neighborhood implementation grantees.
As a national model and critical source of guidance for struggling communities across the country, HCZ has consistently provided and will continue to provide a wealth of evidence for effective strategies to end generational poverty.