Despite spending nearly $700 million annually across multiple departments and public agencies to address the effects of poverty, Philadelphia is in crisis. It became increasingly apparent that the scale of poverty in Philadelphia would require collective action of an equal scale. The myriad City agencies and nonprofits working in silos have isolated impact on poverty — but truly effective solutions require coordinated, large-scale social change. That is why, in January 2013, the City launched the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO).
To provide leadership that strengthens and coordinates the City’s anti-poverty efforts on behalf of its most vulnerable citizens and communities.
The causes and effects of complex social problems like poverty are interdependent. They arise from the interactions of human and social factors and government, corporate and social sector organizations. CEO was created to be a catalyst and serve as the supportive infrastructure to the city’s cross-sector efforts to fight poverty.