Giving Compass’ Take:
• Philanthropists and foundations are helping address dangerous lead poisoning in housing units which are threatening child development and family health.
• How are local foundations in your area solving community problems? Are you aware of their efforts or supporting their missions?
• Read about lessons in place-based philanthropy.
A stable home is the bedrock of family life and child development and is especially critical to young children. However, healthy and affordable homes are often elusive for low-income families, and that puts children at risk of exposure to lead-based paint and other hazards. Lead poisoning alone can damage a child’s developing brain and cause lifelong, irreversible damage that affects learning, behavior, and health.
Older, post-industrial cities such as Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York, have found that the vast majority of childhood lead poisoning occurs in rental units—often one- and two-unit properties—that are owned by thousands of small-time landlords. These landlords are key partners in protecting children from lead hazards and therefore play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our country’s cities and towns.
Recognizing this, leaders in Cleveland and Buffalo have built strong public–private partnerships to deploy new tools that assist landlords with making improvements to their properties. These improvements are necessary to ensuring low-income families’ access to healthy and affordable rental housing.
The Buffalo and Erie County Lead Safe Task Force is another strong cross-sector initiative and is convened by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The task force was created to implement the data-driven recommendations of a comprehensive study on lead.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is providing funding and technical assistance for efforts in both Cleveland and Buffalo.
While organized philanthropy in places like Cleveland and Buffalo is helping move the needle on lead poisoning prevention, place-based funders are not the only ones acting with a sense of urgency and purpose.
Read the full article about how philanthropy is helping address lead poisoning by Daniel Cohn at Health Affairs.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Homeless and Housing, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Homeless and Housing.
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If you are interested in Children and Youth, please see these relevant Issue Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects where you can get involved.