Thursday, July 31, 2014

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University of Notre Dame Announces Partnership with Catholic Charities to Reduce Poverty

The University of Notre Dame has announced a partnership with Catholic Charities USA in an effort to reduce poverty. The collaboration, called the Alliance, plans to reduce poverty in America through rigorous academic research and evaluation of anti-poverty programs, a focus on methods to increase entrepreneurship in implementation of poverty relief services, and efforts to unite skilled workers from the academic and service provider arenas to ensure enhanced quality of service delivery. In addition, the Alliance will seek to inform, through advocacy and educational outreach, the development of policies that will change the ways poverty issues are addressed in the United States.

“I’m so proud of Notre Dame’s partnership with Catholic Charities USA,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “By bringing together one of our nation’s preeminent social service networks with a great Catholic university, we are able to live out our mission of putting learning in service to justice by addressing the root causes of poverty in our country.”

A key component of the Alliance will be Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), the first domestic poverty lab in the United States. Leveraging the experience of academic experts with a national network of social services providers, LEO will offer researchers and practitioners an opportunity to come together, research and implement scalable best practices across the Catholic Charities network and the social service sector at large.

“We have a moral commitment to not only serve the poor, but to determine the most effective and efficient models for doing so,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. “Through programs like LEO, the Alliance will provide guidance to not only social service providers across the country regarding best practices for poverty relief programs, but will allow us to educate our nation’s policymakers on outcomes of the research enabling them to, in time, alter the way we address poverty as a nation.”

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