Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Social Work

First Advisor

Donald Cooney

Second Advisor

Karl Hokenmaier


The Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo Initiative acts a combatant to reducing poverty for the City of Kalamazoo rather than a solution. Combining micro social work training of treatment plans for clients and its incorporated methodologies to the macro problem of poverty for the City’s constituents emphasizes a unique but valuable perspective to have as a potential policy maker. The question is whether such a perspective is truly applicable and such was the goal of the nearly year-long research. Data obtained from interviews, meetings, focus groups and interviews were reviewed from a prior initiative to formulate much of the research and analysis. This was also the case for much of the poverty statistics utilized from the American Community Survey and the U.S. Census to demonstrate the extremity of the City’s poverty rates, especially when analyzed to comparable sized Cities which makes it an oddity. The data, statistics and other local specific information composed within Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo was used in a comparative analysis with the anti-poverty initiatives of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Minneapolis, Minnesota. This assessment of other noteworthy models proved beneficial to lessons derived for Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo as Philadelphia has had ongoing success while Minneapolis’s decade-long run has ceased due to cited failure. This research will provide valuable information regarding the essential ingredients for future and current anti-poverty initiatives to deliver in tandem with true communal efforts.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Social Work Commons