Center on Race and Social Problems

Homewood Children's Village

Principal Investigator(s): 
September 1, 2011 to August 1, 2013

The Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh is an integrated program of research, teaching and service designed to investigate and ameliorate social problems that disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged children, families, and communities. Through the Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh initiative, an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students will work with Homewood residents, faith-based, community-based organizations, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the United Way, and other individuals and organizations to initiate the Homewood Children’s Village project. The Homewood Children’s Village is an adaptation of Geoffrey Canada’s internationally acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone, a New York based comprehensive community initiative.

Research Aim

To engage faculty, students, and community members in community-based participatory research projects designed to produce actionable knowledge needed to address pressing social problems that impact the lives of children and families in Homewood-Brushton. The first research project will engage Pitt students in the identification and assessment of the initial blocks that will comprise the Homewood Children’s Village.

Teaching Aim

To create an educational immersion experience for students by relocating the classroom from the campus to the community through Dr. Wallace’s course, SW 2047 Community-Based Participatory Research. The course is taught in Homewood-Brushton and, in addition to traditional classroom lectures and discussions, offers students hands-on training in community-based research methods and community organizing.

Service Aim

To implement a field-placement model that locates masters-level social work interns in selected Homewood social service agencies and organizations. Interns and faculty members will help to increase the capacity of community organizations and residents as they involve them in the community-based research projects and the classroom instruction.