Build Social Solution Partnerships Point of service case managers and the data miners who make them brilliant
Producing constructive outcomes in economically distressed communities represents one of the great challenges of our time. On this issue, New York City represents determination, expertise and innovation. Interviews with the directors of large nonprofits explore the influence of "data" on the professional capacity of social change agents.
Who Matches the Case? The demand for improved reporting in the social services sector is growing because data management systems are becoming user-friendly, affordable and web-based. The unwieldy nature of social change is becoming more measurable due to data assessments that define effort in terms of acquired outcomes. These systems were initially developed to track packages and provide basic reporting, but not suprisingly similar data systems have also produced a fascinating new breed of “super-informed” public service agencies, nonprofit charitable corporations, and foundations.
Changes in Poverty
We expect "market forces" to push out the “better mousetrap” when needs go unmet, but when 37 million Americans hover at or below the official poverty line, the issue turns directly to the question of service quality. This results in demands on social change agents to provide better measures of service, especially on the abilities of staff to get results.
In New York City poverty will attack about 1.5 million people, but many will escape permanently. Nevertheless, a relatively high percentage remains consistent. It is of little use to debate whether the poverty rate is 19.1% to yield 1.5 million “official” poor or it is as high as 30% to include the “unofficial” estimates of those who are dangerously close to disaster.
NYC Community Districts Percent of Households Earning $30,000 or Less (1999)
BX1 Mott Haven/Melrose
BX6 Belmont/East Tremont
BX2 Hunts Point/Longwood
MN10 Central Harlem
BK5East New York/Starrett City
BX7Kingsbridge Hts./Bedford P
MN3Lower East Side/ChinaT
The median income of households in Rent Stabilized Apartments in 1999 was $27,000 and $32,000 in 2002 based on the Housing and Vacancy Survey (2005) by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board. In 1999, NYC had 1.27 million households with incomes below $30,000 representing 3.8 million people. The twenty districts total 853,000 households or about 2.4 million people. Source: Household Income - 2000 Census ("Long form") from Bureau of the Census, US Department of Commerce via InfoShare.org