Spurred by efforts to build stronger ties with residents, the Austin Byrne Criminal Justice Initiative team revitalized large open spaces that had fostered crime, increased local resources to engage and support youth, and created an empathetic and effective way to address homelessness.
The two organizations had evolved from different premises, and had developed different cultures and methods to meet a common challenge of engaging citizens in civic volunteering. Each of these national initiatives was making a difference in promoting volunteerism and supporting citizen service. Both had become more concerned about financial sustainability and impact in recent months. For five years the two groups had been competing in some areas, and collaborating in others, and the idea of consolidation was present.
Habitat for Humanity International describes its mission: “to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.” Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.
The case study was made possible by a grant from the Volunteer Impact Fund.
Setting the Stage