An innovative program by an unusual bank allows low-income people in Cambodia to take out a 15-year fixed mortgage with little or no documentation - contradicting traditional loan assumptions and creating means for some of the country's poorest people to completely change their lives. The bank and its investors are now making a profit, and more than 700 mortgages and building loans have been provided.Read More
Millions of families of arrested individuals do not know what to do to help, how to obtain a lawyer, or what the process entails in the court system. Created by Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project, participatory defense is a type of community organizing that teaches and empowers people who face criminal charges. Individuals know how to work with attorneys in order to navigate the system and ultimately feel equipped to become drivers of their own change.Read More
New Orleans implemented an extraordinary 10-year plan that engaged unprecedented cross-sector collaboration between government, non-profit, and private entities to provide housing and housing services to the city's homeless veterans. The city's success in providing homes for every single veteran formerly on their streets motivated cities across the nation to tackle the crises using similar means, leading to a 1/3 decline veteran homelessness since 2010.Read More
A Department of Justice study reported that about 75 percent of those released in 2005 were rearrested, and women prisoners often have a harder time re-entering society after release. A New Way of Life (ANWOL) is a Los Angeles transitional living facility that has helped more than 750 women stay out of prison by offering housing, case management, mental health and substance treatment, and job training.Read More
More Than Wheels, a New Hampshire-based non-profit offers an economically stable solution to the high cost of owning a car. The program offers low-cost car loans that go toward the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles.Read More
Rampant misconduct by judicial systems across the country brought to light a crippling practice of debtors' prisons—where disadvantaged individuals unable to pay fines and fees were continually and wrongfully imprisoned, creating a vicious cycle. The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in to work with governments and private companies to increase transparency, eliminate abuse, and reeducate law enforcement officials. The state of Ohio has emerged as a leader in reforming debtors' prisons, though there is still work to do.Read More
Throughout India, wastepickers – people who scour landfills for garbage they can sell to recyclers – live at the bottom of society. But the city of Pune did something radical: with the help of a collective, they did away with expensive garbage trucks, and now all household garbage is collected by wastepickers with pushcarts. Pune saves millions of dollars each year and recycles more – and the wastepickers have decent wages and social standing. The concept is now spreading globally.Read More
Many offenders get out of jail owing hundreds or thousands of dollars in court and parole fees but face barriers to financing and job acquisition, sticking them in a punitive, vicious cycle of debt and arrest. A program called the Clapham Set, perhaps paired with conditional cash transfers - may be a solution, as it erases fees for felons who complete rehab and job training upon release.Read More
This is a column on an important new development program in use in at least 40 developing countries: give the poor cash payments, contingent on their use of health clinics and their children’s school attendance, to help break the cycle of poverty.Read More
Neighborhood Trust is a New York-based nonprofit offering financial advice to individuals experiencing economic hardships. Providing hands-on coaching, counselors are able to inform their clients about financial options they may have otherwise not known about like college financial aid or child care tax credits.Read More
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