Moving America Forward

The Southern City That’s Creating a Diverse, Digital Hub; How the Public Library Provides a Lifeline to the Homeless and More

April 1, 2016
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The Southern City That’s Creating a Diverse, Digital Hub; How the Public Library Provides a Lifeline to the Homeless and More
Downtown Durham, N.C. Photo by Angelo Yap / Flickr
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.

 

Is a Different Kind of Silicon Valley Possible?, The Atlantic
Deep in the heart of tobacco country, Durham, N.C. is fostering the next home for digital start-ups. Thanks to free or low-cost office space, business advice, tax credits and financial compensation, more than 400 jobs and $29 million have been added to the local economy. But will this latest tech hub, which is located south of the Mason-Dixon line, find a way to be more diverse than its California predecessor?

Humanizing Homelessness at the San Francisco Public Library, CityLab
Those in the Bay Area without a roof over their heads don’t head to the library to check out the latest page turner. They head to the public building to meet with Leah Esguerra, the library’s social worker — a first of her kind. Connecting at-risk patrons with social programs and outreach services including housing and medical care, Esquerra has provided assistance to almost 1,000 people. She’s also a trend setter: inspiring 24 libraries nationwide to hire their own social workers.

A New Twist on ‘Pay for Success’ Programs, Governing
Governments and the private-sector partnering to fund social programs (an agreement known as social impact bonds, or SIBs) is the latest — and one of the most buzzed about — types of investing.  These “pay for success” contracts are risky since investors only receive their money back if the operation achieves its goals. A new model, the social impact guarantee, is more enticing to potential investors while also eliminating some of the traditional complications that accompany SIBs.

MORE: The New Way to Govern: Paying for Progress

 

 

 

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