Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts Highlights East Lake Transformation

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts’ highlights Tom Cousins in a recent column as one of the “good guys” for his use of his wealth and influence to make the world a better place. Pitts highlights Tom’s contributions to improving the East Lake East Lakecommunity. This neighborhood that housed the old East Lake public housing project where 90% of residents were victims of a felony every year, where few children achieved state standards in any subject, where the crime rate was 18 times higher than the national average, where adult employment was under 25% and where partnerships with strong local nonprofit organizations were virtually unknown. Tom along with East Lake leader Eva Davis and Atlanta Housing Authority CEO Renee Glover formed the leadership team that turned East Lake around. Today the Villages of East Lake, the East Lake YMCA, the East Lake Sheltering Arms and the Charles Drew School are forging new partnerships and setting a high bar for community engagement, student achievement and community wellness. The East Lake neighborhood model is used by civic leaders in neighborhoods in Birmingham, Charlotte, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Omaha, Rome and Spartanburg. Pitts column is a great read and a powerful reminder of what happens when partnerships work.