Do you know the ZIP code where you were born?
Research shows there is no greater indicator of a person’s potential life outcomes than exactly where he or she is born. Poverty in this country is tied to place. Today, the effects of historical patterns of advancement and retreat remain evident in 27610, the primary ZIP code for Southeast Raleigh.
Raleigh is experiencing a period of growth, yet we rank very low for upward mobility compared with other U.S. cities. If you are poor in Southeast Raleigh, chances are you will stay poor. As a whole, Southeast Raleigh is economically diverse, yet there are specific neighborhoods that have not seen the same level of investment over time.
The reasons for large disparities in education level, household income, inadequate access to health care and other factors in these predominantly African-American neighborhoods are complex, and the cycles of oppression have made change slow and disconnected. As more people want to live and work in our community and the pace of development picks up, the time is now to ensure that this part of our city is not once again overlooked.
It takes investment and leadership to begin peeling back the layers of oppression. For years, the YMCA of the Triangle studied the possibility of a new facility in Southeast Raleigh. As their conversations gained momentum, volunteer and staff leadership from the organization learned about Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood, where partners worked together to build a YMCA, a charter school and mixed-income housing as part of a comprehensive effort to completely transform the area. East Lake is a part of the Purpose Built Communities Network. Purpose Built is a nonprofit community development consulting group that offers free services to neighborhoods that are serious about breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Read More.