This is How To Change a Neighborhood


Atlanta's East Lake Foundation was created to revitalize one of the city's most struggling communities. In the 1970s, the East Lake community was nicknamed “Little Vietnam” by local police because of its high crime rates and drug trade.

The East Lake Foundation was formed in 1995. The community is now made of a mixed-income apartment community with 542 townhouses, duplexes and garden apartments, the first K-12 charter school in Atlanta with 1,700 students, an early education and family center for pre-K, a golf course, and a YMCA.

Here's why it's now a model for 17 other communities around the nation:

Since its founding, East Lake Foundation has seen a 97 percent reduction in violent crime.

Among adult recipients of public housing assistance, 100 percent are employed.

Of its Drew Charter School seniors, 100 percent are applying to college and 79 percent are already earning college credit. The 2016 senior class is the charter school's first senior class.

This change occurred in one generation. These are numbers and systems to replicate.

Have you ever helped out an organization like this one? Are you working with a foundation that isn't performing well. What would you do to change it?