Changing neighborhoods, changing lives.

We are conveners and catalysts for social change at the neighborhood level. Purpose Built Communities works with dynamic local leaders to cultivate and nourish an ecosystem of high-capacity, collaborative partners who invest directly in community-led projects that uplift the legacy and support the vision of the people who have long called that neighborhood home.

These projects include high-quality mixed-income housing, excellent schools, inclusive spaces that nurture and enrich residents’ physical and mental health and foster belonging, and a thriving commercial core that keeps the neighborhood economically vibrant.

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.


LIFT JAX’s mission is to eradicate generational poverty in Jacksonville. After extensive study and analysis, we decided to partner with resident leaders to begin our work in one neighborhood: Jacksonville’s Eastside.

View Network Page

Cherry Hill Strong

The Mission of Cherry Hill Strong is to work alongside the residents of Cherry Hill to align partners and resources, set and implement strategy to strengthen education, community wellness, housing, economic vitality and overall quality of life based on the community’s vision.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

Orlando / Lift Orlando

Lift Orlando is a place-based community development organization that works with residents, business leaders, and community partners to strengthen neighborhoods so people can thrive. We strengthen neighborhoods through mixed-income housing, cradle-to-career education pathways, health and wellness services, and economic viability opportunities. We invest in people, places, and partnerships.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

Birmingham / Woodlawn United

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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.

View Network Page

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

Purpose Built Communities and the Purpose Built Network are committed to advancing racial equity as both a process and an outcome. Through racial equity, we get to justice.

For us that work begins with acknowledgment and acceptance. We acknowledge the racist systems of the past and present that have shaped the world in which we all live. And we accept the truth of the role these systems and policies play in relegating many Black and Brown people to under-resourced and disinvested neighborhoods. The failure to acknowledge and accept the reality of these harms collectively holds us back – from healing, progress, and true racial equity.

After acknowledgment and acceptance comes action. We must actively and purposefully direct resources to neighborhoods most impacted by the compounding effects of decades – if not centuries – of racial injustice. The Purpose Built model of transformative change at the neighborhood level offers an effective solution to help overcome the inequities and injustices of poverty generated by systemic racism. Learn more about our Racial Equity Philosophy.

2022 Network Leadership Convening

Purpose Built Communities is supported by:

Ballmer Group
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Blue Meridian Partners
Cousins Foundations
GA Power
KPMG Foundation
Warren Buffett

Where We Thrive is Now Live

We have launched Where We Thrive – resources for place-based field advocates to talk about our collective work – resident-centered neighborhood revitalization – and how best to execute it through the lens of racial equity.