Governments can only do so much when it comes to trying to rebuild cities with a substantial amount of blight and poverty. At the rates for tearing down old abandoned buildings and possibly putting up new ones all at once, it would simply take too big of a bite in funds to be considered reasonable. The process becomes easier however, when people put it on themselves to make communities better. There have been a few instances where large non-profit groups have been going to “broken” cities and have been improving the physical infrastructure as well as the life of the residents. “These days there’s more work to be done tearing homes down than building new ones. An executive at Pulte Homes has set up a non-profit to do just that in Detroit. By reversing the building process, it can remove an empty house for just $5,000, half what it would cost the city government to do so” (Fuelner). A non-profit group by the name of Motor City Blight Busters has been putting in a great deal of manpower in taking down hundreds of homes in Detroit. By doing this, they are significantly helping the city and the private sector, putting them in a better position to improve locations.
In similar fashion, we see this happening in Camden, New Jersey as well. Camden has been known for being one of the most dangerous cities in America. Several non-profit groups have went over to Camden and begun different aspects of the city. There are works to create outdoor recreation and places to play various sports. They are trying to engage the residents and get them to interact more with each other to gain a sense of community. By creating parks and clearing blighted spaces, they are eliminating areas that invite crime. There are also health efforts such as educational programs to teach young women about HIV and other prevention programs. Among that, there is the H.O.P.E. project, which provides health care and drug treatment for the homeless. All of these programs have been helping in improving the Camden communities.
Non-profit organizations seem to be pretty essential components in improving communities. Having such a partnership between private government and nonprofit proves to be a great way to transform these communities. In collaboration, they can work as a collective and tackle different areas of importance that need work.
“Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Promotes a ‘Culture of Health’ in Camden, NJ.” Newsworks.org. N.p., n.d. Web.
Feulner, Ed. “Rebuilding a Ruined City | RealClearPolitics.” Rebuilding a Ruined City. N.p., 07 Apr. 2013. Web.
Photo: Kirsten Luce for The New York Times