Across the United States, there is growing recognition that integrated, co-located services—like those planned for CityLink—are effective in helping families overcome poverty.
CityLink’s approach is based on the idea that support services are much more effective when they work together. This bundled services model comes from the Centers for Working Families (CWF) Model, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation several years ago as a response to the challenges facing low-income, working adults and their families. CWF was built upon the realization that programs to help people climb out of poverty were often underutlized, for a number of reasons: scheduling conflicts, transportation barriers, the embarrassment of asking for help, and even lack of awareness that these programs existed. By offering employment services, access to publicly available resources and financial services under one roof and integrating them into a holistic solution, CWF began achieving promising results. Clients who received bundled services were three to four times more likely to achieve a major economic outcome than clients receiving one service.
This bundled services model is now recognized as a best practice method for fighting poverty, with successful centers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and New York. And it’s just the starting point for the CityLink vision.