Community and Organizational Development
Partnership and collaboration are integral to our mission to improve the lives and life chances of people in South Jersey. Our work to develop communities and organizations centers on a commitment to bring more people to the table to seek solutions to challenging issues. We often serve as the backbone organization for collaborative projects and coalitions to facilitate community-based interventions.
In addition to researching and presenting findings, we also provide a venue for public, private and nonprofit leaders to engage constructively on issues that impact South Jersey. Since inception, WRI has tackled an array of policy problems including social service delivery, local government capacity, release and re-entry of violent offenders, civic engagement, housing affordability, and regional development. All of these projects have connected stakeholders, as well as students, with opportunities for discussion and collective action.
Current and Ongoing Projects
As part of the Pascale Sykes Foundation’s Family Strengthening Network collaborative, this evaluation looks at the relationship between family advocates and the families they serve, focusing on the impact that this relationship has on families’ outcomes.
WRI is working with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families on on a process, training, and outcomes evaluation of its Kinship Navigator Program.
WRI is partnering with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership to study the region’s workforce.
WRI is partnering with the Food Bank of South Jersey to evaluate the impact of their local and regional programs.
WRI is partnering with the NJ YMCA State Alliance (NJYSA) to better understand civic engagement and youth.
WRI is partnering with the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation in Salem County on a comprehensive evaluation project.
Camden was named a Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Public Art Challenge, and WRI serves as the local evaluator.
In June 2019, the Community Education Building (CEB) initiated a vision alignment project in coordination with WRI.
WRI Faculty Fellow Melanie Bowers is studying the availability and distribution of population-appropriate housing and homeless services in South Jersey.