Poverty Alleviation Initiative

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Los Angeles County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Community and Economic Development (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

Poverty is a multi-dimensional issue, and tackling it requires a multi-dimensional approach. While many County departments implement programs addressing aspects of poverty, they are typically not coordinated with each other, and community partners are often not included. The Poverty Alleviation Initiative (PAI) was created to develop a plan for alleviating poverty and implement actions to accomplish that. Listening sessions were held with 1,024 participants to develop a countywide strategic framework. Sessions were scheduled to intentionally begin with a diverse sampling of residents and those with lived expertise; the concepts they raised were built upon so that their voices would be the most influential and powerful in shaping the ideas in the framework. The resulting framework presented a clear vision and pathway for alleviating poverty that was digestible, and that others could join to create a collective energy for achieving results. The PAI secured commitments from 25 partners to help implement five initiatives and recruited partners to lead 18 other initiatives identified in the framework. The initiative has committed to challenging the assumptions that allow us to accept poverty as a ‘given,’ and truly disrupt its cycle. More importantly, it is helping others get excited about doing this as well.