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University of Michigan Announces Efforts to Address Poverty

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan is planning a series of projects that aim to bridge the gap between research and community efforts to prevent and alleviate poverty, the school announced Tuesday.

The initiative, called “Poverty Solutions,” will explore and test models to ease the effects of poverty and broadly share that knowledge. The Ann Arbor school has revealed details of the first nine projects funded through the program with grants totaling $200,000.

“These programs aim to make a real difference in the lives of struggling families by building knowledge about how to address poverty in a meaningful way,” H. Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan associate professor of social work and public policy and director of “Poverty Solutions,” said in a statement.

The projects include efforts to alert low-income homeowners about an exemption to reduce their property taxes, protect affordable housing in Detroit and address rural poverty. Others include employing health workers in neighborhoods to help residents and collaborative research partnerships.

“This first round of support leverages the academic breadth of the University of Michigan paired with strong community partnerships to make a major difference,” said school President Mark S. Schlissel.

The program is co-sponsored by the Detroit Urban Research Center, a partnership among the U-M schools of Public Health, Nursing and Social Work; the Detroit Health Department; Henry Ford Health System; and nine community-based organizations.

In addition to those programs, “Poverty Solutions” also will kick off a new effort focused on investigating the economic and social impacts of expanding job opportunities in partnership with school’s new Youth Policy Lab, funded by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.

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