Practitioner Briefs

Building Capacity Through Collaboration in Chicago’s Suburbs »

In this brief, Robin Snyderman and Beth Dever of BRicK Partners describe the formation of municipal collaboratives in Chicago’s suburbs following the housing crisis, and offer 10 lessons for other communities considering collaborative approaches to promoting economic opportunity.

The Road Map Project: Regional Innovation for Student Success »

Mary Jean Ryan of the Community Center for Education Results discusses how the Road Map Project, a four-year-old collective impact project focusing on Seattle’s southern suburbs, emerged to tackle the region’s education challenges, and offers lessons for other regions that may be contemplating similar collaborations that span traditional jurisdiction and sector boundaries.

Case Studies

CommonBond Communities »

CommonBond Communities, the Midwest’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing integrated with services, has operated in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region for more than 40 years. This case study describes CommonBond’s success in expanding its offerings in the region’s suburbs, as well as continuing challenges and potential solutions for meeting growing affordable housing needs in suburbia.

The Denver TOD Fund »

The Denver TOD Fund, the first of its kind in the country, is an innovative funding tool that leverages public and private investments to increase the access of low-income residents to affordable housing, jobs, and services around transit.

IFF »

From its origins as a $2.7 million loan fund focused on Chicago nonprofits, IFF (formerly the Illinois Facilities Fund) has grown into one of America’s leading nonprofit community development financial institutions (CDFI), offering a continuum of services across the Midwest.

Latin American Youth Center »

In 2005, D.C.-based Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) extended its comprehensive portfolio of urban social services—from education and job training initiatives to the coordination of housing for homeless and runaway youth—into nearby suburbs. To do so successfully, LAYC had to adapt its approach to service delivery.

Montgomery County »

In 2009, during the deepest part of the recession, officials from Montgomery County government, led by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Community Partnerships, partnered with leaders from the faith-based community, social service nonprofits, and grassroots organizations to develop strategies aimed at delivering critical emergency and safety net services to struggling communities and families in the area.

Mortgage Resolution Fund »

Four of the nation’s leading organizations working on low-income housing needs brought their complementary skill sets together to create the Mortgage Resolution Fund (MRF). MRF’s goal is to help homeowners stay in their homes and to stabilize and revitalize communities hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis.

Neighborhood Centers »

Houston’s Neighborhood Centers is a social service nonprofit that provides a continuum of services to over 400,000 low-income residents a year in more than 60 locations throughout the Houston region and across Texas. Its services reach inner-city as well as suburban communities, and include programs for children, youth, seniors, and immigrants on everything from health and education, to leadership and economic development, financial literacy and security, and paths to citizenship.

Road Map Project »

The Road Map Project, launched in the Seattle Region in 2010, aims to double postsecondary educational attainment and close achievement gaps for the almost 120,000 students in the suburban school districts of Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, and Tukwila, as well as the public schools in South Seattle.

Suburban Chicago Collaboratives »

In response to the foreclosure crisis, suburban municipalities on Chicago’s west and south sides formed interjurisdictional collaboratives to address shared challenges together, rather than compete with one another for limited resources.