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Here’s what the Knowledge Center uncovered

On behalf of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey—your United Way—I am pleased to announce a series of research released by the Knowledge Center.

Formed in January 2022, United Way’s Knowledge Center develops an evidence base to shape practices that alleviate poverty and improve life outcomes for our neighbors. 

Earlier this year, under the leadership of Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Andrea Anderson, the Knowledge Center released two reports that examine the impact of initiatives led by The Promise—a first-of-its-kind public-private coalition to combat poverty in Philadelphia, powered by United Way and the City of Philadelphia.

Through these efforts, The Promise focuses on two leading initiatives: Family Stability and Jobs & Opportunity. The first works to get families all the benefits and tax services they are entitled to receive, and the latter works to create economic mobility through cleared records. 

Here we share two reports of the Jobs & Opportunity Challenge’s impact:

  1. What can be done to remove barriers for the 300,000+ Philadelphians currently living with arrest or conviction records? READ: Timely Record Clearing Relief: An Essential Anti-Poverty and Racial Equity Strategy, United Way Knowledge Center
  2. How can a clean record improve employment, education, housing, and other important components of a successful, stable livelihood? How are we doing? READ: Synthesis of the Research: Understanding the Significance of Criminal Record Clearing as a Poverty Reduction Strategy, Juvenile Justice Research & Reform Lab at Drexel University 

Tracking progress as initiatives unfold is essential to creating meaningful change. Better decisions are made when we are better informed. By deepening our understanding of the drivers of poverty and what initiatives yield the best outcomes, we will be better equipped to identify gaps, scale-up initiatives, and serve our neighbors. 

An arrest or conviction should not be a life sentence to poverty. As we gear up for another round of record-clearing clinics, we thank you for helping us advance our mission. Because of your generosity, families throughout Greater Philadelphia are given more opportunities to thrive.


These reports are part of United Way's Knowledge Center. To see more reports focused on data and community learning, visit the Knowledge Center's portal

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