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REPORT: Community-Development Organization Profiles PHI and CHCA

September 2, 2015

The Democracy Collaborative, an organization that highlights ways to build sustainable economic-development models at the community level, profiles PHI and its affiliate, Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) in an August report.

Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, highlights 11 initiatives and organizations that exemplify a specific “community wealth building approach” focusing on the democratization of the “ownership of assets.”

These approaches include employee stock-ownership plans, community revitalization efforts, and — as in the case of CHCA — worker-owned cooperatives.

“The working conditions within the field of home healthcare services are difficult — low wages and high turnover plague the sector,” the report’s authors, Keane Bhatt and Steve Dubb, write. But, they add, “CHCA sought to create a different business model, one that invested in people rather than viewing people as a cost.”

The report highlights specific aspects of CHCA that have made it particularly effective, including its peer-mentoring program and its adult learner-centered approach to training. The authors also write that CHCA’s worker-owner model creates an “inclusive government” that “increases members’ skills and participation.”

Bhatt and Dubb also explain that PHI was spun off of CHCA in 1991 to “gain access to both training resources and philanthropic support.”

A September 9 Democracy Collaborative webinar, led by Bhatt and Dubb, will delve into the themes of the report, which include empowering community residents “to engage and participate in community economic development.”

Registration information is available online.

— by Matthew Ozga

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