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Our Mission



Working to Interrupt the Cycle of Generational Poverty works to advance the practice of social service work towards solutions that interrupt the cycle of generational poverty 



We provide training for professional and volunteer practitioners who work directly with people living in poverty in the fields of education, healthcare, social work and community development.


Our training equips practitioners to develop and deliver *asset-based programs and services that help people liberate themselves (and their families) from the cycle of generational poverty.


In our expanded mission we work in collaboration with both public and private sector organizations in a variety program and services areas including workforce development, community development, community education and public policy reform.


Our work is informed by practitioners, policy makers, funders, community residents, business leaders, educators and other subject matter experts in areas impacting urban poverty, economic development and community transformation.

*Assets based approaches facilitate processes where people and communities to come together to achieve positive change using their own knowledge, skills and lived experience to address the issues they encounter in their lives. 


Our Origin

Robert Caldwell and Mark Wagenbrenner met in 2003 when Wagenbrenner Development was invited by Campus Partners (OSU) to take on the redevelopment of Weinland Park, a blighted low-income neighborhood just south of the Main Campus of The Ohio State University.  


Robert had started the Weinland Park Civic Association to advocate for economic opportunity to be made available to the people living in Weinland Park as the neighborhood was redeveloped.  He encouraged Mark to realize that his development efforts could engage a variety of both public and private community stakeholders to bring employment, housing and other life improvement opportunities to people living in Weinland Park.


Embracing this Mark agreed to join Robert to bring economic opportunity to Weinland Park through the Work WORKS! Community Employment Initiative, which was the centerpiece of a multi-stakeholder community development effort to address poverty in that community.   

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