Dallas unveils new initiative to curb child poverty
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the formation of a new, independent nonprofit organization, the Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL).
- Early next year, the organization intends to release a roadmap to reduce child poverty in Dallas by 50% in 20 years and break the generational chain of poverty. The analysis will present leading indicators for childhood poverty and the measurable change necessary to meet the 50% reduction goal.
- CPAL will bring together numerous philanthropic groups and corporate groups as well as city departments, although it will not be a government-run entity. The groups committed to be part of CPAL are meeting on a quarterly basis to strategize.
Rawlings said childhood poverty presents itself in different ways and places throughout Dallas. CPAL will examine the variety of root causes and offer strategies of best fit for each area.
Rawlings also acknowledged that poverty creeps from one generation to the next and is a difficult cycle to break. CPAL aims to identify and try solutions that haven't been attempted before. CPAL's website states that "treatment without prevention is unsustainable."
Cities face the perennial issue of how to fund new programs. But CPAL's model of funding a public-private initiative through philanthropic efforts has a proven track record of success and producing solutions that risk-averse, publicly-funded entities are unable or skittish to try. So far CPAL has raised $1.7 million in philanthropic seed money, reports the Dallas News.
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