Changing neighborhoods, changing lives.

We serve as a bridge, connecting community leaders with resources and partner organizations that share a vision to make holistic, at-scale investments in defined neighborhoods to achieve excellent and equitable outcomes for the people who live there.

Our collaboration with innovative thinkers is driven by a collective desire to advance communities, improve the lives of residents of neighborhoods made vulnerable, end a cycle of intergenerational poverty, and set a new course for cities across the country.

Purpose Built Communities helps local leaders create greater racial equity, economic mobility, and improved health outcomes for families and children.

We gather some of the brightest minds to cultivate meaningful change in our neighborhoods and cities.

A Community of Practice

All network members share a wealth of knowledge in holistic community revitalization, challenges faced, lessons learned, resources, and more.

Subject-Matter Expertise

The Purpose Built team includes highly accomplished professionals with subject-matter expertise in real estate development, local government support, transformative education strategies, resident engagement, and more.

Resource Sharing and Partner Connections

The network has built strong relationships with internationally recognized leaders of business and government, policy makers, philanthropists, community quarterbacks, directors of nonprofits, developers, education experts, finance and asset managers, grant writers, affordable housing directors, real estate executives, corporate officers, community planners, attorneys, consultants, and much more.

We are driven by a collective desire to advance communities and improve the lives of residents as we help set a new course toward a more racially equitable and just society.

Columbus (GA) / The Mill District

The Mill District is a defined project area that encompasses four older and historic neighborhoods: City Village, North Highland, Bibb Village, and Anderson Village. This area is important to the city’s economic history as Columbus was founded on the commodity of cotton and textile production. It served as the residential neighborhood for generations of families that worked in the area’s textile mills.

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Dallas / Forest Forward

Forest Forward works with the community to combat the causes and effects of systemic inequities through neighborhood revitalization that centers efforts to accelerate the advancement and achievements of Black and marginalized people.

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Syracuse / Blueprint 15

The East Adams Street neighborhood was devastated in the 1950s and 1960s to make space for Interstate 81. Since then, similar social and economic policy decisions have limited this neighborhood’s potential for growth. The looming decision of the New York State Department of Transportation to replace the current Interstate 81 viaduct presents a transformational opportunity for the community.

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Omaha / Canopy South

Canopy South exists to connect, convene, and collaborate with a community of doers, with the goal of establishing strong roots of social, educational, and racial equity in South Omaha neighborhoods disconnected from equitable access to opportunity.

Canopy South believes choice provides the foundation for just and fair development, where the community determines future growth.

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Tallahassee / South City Foundation

South City is a historic community in Tallahassee, Florida that borders a promising commercial district. Once a central hub for many residents, the area has languished over the years from inadequate public infrastructure and lack of economic development. Despite various challenges, South City’s location near downtown and the availability of vacant lots make it a prime community for redevelopment and reinvestment without displacement.

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Atlanta / Focused Community Strategies

Focused Community Strategies (FCS) has been partnering with under-resourced Atlanta neighborhoods for forty years starting with Grant Park, and then Ormewood Park, Summerhill, and East Lake. For the past sixteen years we have had the privilege of coming alongside residents of Historic South Atlanta to create a flourishing community through mixed-income housing, economic development, neighborhood engagement, and training and consulting.

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Cleveland / CLE Purpose Built Communities

The Buckeye-Woodhill and Glenville neighborhoods are places of great opportunity and unique challenges. Each neighborhood bears deep wounds from past practices rooted in structural racism, and consequently show symptoms of disinvestment and neglect. However, each area has community assets, a resilience to survive, hope upon which to build a solid future, and a richness of community that embodies the spirit of togetherness and belonging.

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Winston-Salem / Boston-Thurmond United

Boston-Thurmond, just north of downtown Winston-Salem, has a rich history as one of the city’s first residential neighborhoods built for tobacco and textile factory workers. By the 1920s and ‘30s, the area was flourishing. In the early 1960s, a new highway, University Parkway, essentially bisected the neighborhood, disrupting healthy neighborhood growth. Despite these challenges, there is a strong sense of pride in the neighborhood.

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West Palm Beach / Northend RISE

Residents of the Northend of West Palm Beach are resilient and diverse, with a desire for a great neighborhood that works for all. Bolstered by a highly desirable location and a building sense of community, residents are optimistic and eager to partner with Northend RISE and a network of nonprofits, government agencies and other organizations who share a vision for a great place to live.

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Wilmington / REACH Riverside

Tucked away in the northeast corner of the city, Riverside is one of Wilmington’s oldest neighborhoods. Once a vibrant, working-class community, the area experienced decades of disinvestment. Today, residents are eager to define a new future for their community.

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Grand Rapids / AmplifyGR

Amplify GR works through partnership to identify and achieve shared goals that widen pathways for success in Boston Square, Cottage Grove, and the surrounding neighborhoods. We work together to honor the history of entrepreneurship and ensure that more equitable outcomes are passed through generations.

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Atlanta / Grove Park Foundation

Grove Park Foundation (GPF) has grown out of the efforts to restore several historic neighborhoods suffering from decades of disinvestment and environmental degradation on the Westside of Atlanta. Using the Purpose Built model, GPF is working with local partners, leaders and residents to create a healthy, equitable, sustainable and vibrant community. Through a holistic approach that focuses on investments in education, housing, and wellness, GPF is dedicated to revitalizing the Grove Park neighborhood and improving the quality of life of our community.

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Raleigh / Southeast Raleigh Promise

Southeast Raleigh is rich in culture, diversity and promise. There’s no part of the city with more potential to grow and add vitality to our region than Southeast Raleigh. A positive and sustainable impact is only possible if everyone works together in a way much different than we have in the past.

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Kansas City / Urban Neighborhood Initiative

The Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI) was founded in 2011, and represents one of the KCMO Chamber of Commerce’s “Big 5 Ideas.” UNI is partnering with several neighborhood groups and local leadership organizations to bring new opportunities Kansas City’s urban core. 

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Tulsa / Growing Together

For years, Kendall-Whittier was on a steady decline and was a place where opportunity was elusive until an influx of new immigrants began to move in and stabilize the neighborhood. In 2007, they and many other longtime residents began to organize and in 2011, they helped create a new vision for the future that led to the founding of Growing Together. Today, Growing Together and its partners are building on that solid foundation in the neighborhood, which serves as a hub for Tulsa’s vibrant Latinx community.

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Orlando / Lift Orlando

Lift Orlando is a non-profit organization of business leaders working with residents and community partners towards holistic neighborhood revitalization in the historic Communities of West Lakes. Lift Orlando works with residents to strengthen the neighborhoods surrounding Camping World Stadium by investing in mixed-income housing, cradle to career education, health and wellness outcomes and economic viability. The work is informed by three key strategies: Collective Impact, Place-Based and Asset Based Community Development.

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Fort Worth / Renaissance Heights United

For nearly 100 years, the Mason Heights area in southeast Fort Worth functioned as an orphanage operated by the Masonic Lodge. When funding for the orphanage dried up, the Masons closed the orphanage and then sold the land in 2005. Today the area is home to an emerging 200 acre master-planned, mixed-use development 4 miles southeast of downtown Fort Worth.

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Columbus / PACT

Through the middle of the 1900s in racially-segregated Columbus, well-known African-American entertainers, such as the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald, frequently performed to white audiences downtown, but they were not welcome as overnight guests in that part of the city. They instead spent their evenings performing again and sleeping in the Near East Side – a vibrant, predominately African-American residential area. In the 1960s, this area was decimated by a new interstate highway. Today, PACT’s mission is focused on enhancing the quality of life in the Near East Side.

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Houston / Connect Community

Gulfton/Sharpstown is the most diverse neighborhood in the most diverse city in the country. However, due to years of disinvestment, this largely immigrant and refugee neighborhood has become an area of concentrated poverty. In 2016, Connect Community was created to bring organizations and local residents together to collaborate, align their efforts, and mobilize a broader network of assets to meet needs and strengthen the overall community.

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Charlotte / Renaissance West Community Initiative

Renaissance West Community Initiative is a non-profit organization coordinating the education and services continuum of the former Boulevard Homes public housing site into a vibrant, village called Renaissance.

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Birmingham / Woodlawn Foundation

Located just east of downtown Birmingham, Woodlawn runs for 15 blocks along a rail line that brought thousands of workers to this post-Civil War boomtown. The working class neighborhood experienced ups and downs in the ensuing decades. Today, a coalition of partners are working with the community to build equity, opportunity and healthy outcomes for families.

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Spartanburg / Northside Development Group

The Northside was once home to the sprawling Spartan Mills, and area fortunes can be tied directly to the rise and eventual fall of the mill. The mill’s smokestack remains, along with the nearby railroad tracks, reminding the community of its industrial past. Today, the Northside Development Group leads a diverse coalition of people investing time and resources for a safe and strong Northside community.

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Rome / South Rome Alliance

South Rome Alliance is committed to ensuring a clean, safe, vibrant and beautiful community in South Rome. The area is comprised of eight neighborhoods: Blacks Bluff, Mt. Aventine, Hillsboro, Etowah Terrace, South Rome Commons, Coosa Country Club/Virginia Circle, and Darlington Village.

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Omaha / Seventy Five North Revitalization Corp.

The Highlander neighborhood sits less than a mile from downtown Omaha in its emerging midtown area. Acquisitions of large parcels of land by Seventy Five North have presented a unique real estate opportunity with the potential for enormous community impact.

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New Orleans / Bayou District Foundation

Rising from the flooded remains of the St. Bernard housing development, the Bayou District was created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to provide a new mixed-income community complete with schools, recreation, and support services.

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Indianapolis / Alliance for Northeast Unification

Avondale Meadows, a 150-acre community in northeast Indianapolis, was once a destination with shopping, a theater, and quality housing. Years of decline altered the landscape and created an opportunity for new engagement. The Alliance for Northeast Unification (ANU) is well on its way to restoring the area to its vibrant and energetic roots.

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Atlanta / East Lake Foundation

Recognized by the Urban Land Institute as a national model for community redevelopment, the East Lake Foundation was created in 1995 to help transform one of Atlanta’s most troubled neighborhoods. Working from the belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, the Foundation offers tools that enable residents to build brighter futures.

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The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.
– Bryan Stevenson

We are committed to working together for equity and inclusion for all.

As a Network, we seek to repair the cumulative harm of racist public policies and private actions that have trapped generations of Black people and other People of Color in segregated neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, and we understand that this is just one part of the work ahead. Piecemeal efforts and incremental progress feel wholly inadequate when the scale of the historic and current-day inequities and injustices is so immense. No one organization, group or individual will be able to create the world we want to see – this is our collective responsibility; but we must not let that paralyze us. This will not “get better with time.” We must listen, learn, and act. In the weeks and months to come, we will continue to shift and adapt to tackle these issues more directly. We challenge all people and organizations to do the same.

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Purpose Built Communities helps local leaders create greater racial equity, economic mobility, and improved health outcomes for families and children.

This newsletter provides resources to help engage communities and partners, insights to lessons learned, and proven solutions from Network Members.