Students in Professor Courtney Anderson’s Property and Law course work with Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Units, citizen advisory councils that make zoning, land use and other planning recommendations to the mayor and city council, to address health disparities and inequalities.
They have worked also with Purpose Built Schools, a nonprofit organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through high-performing schools, to help Thomasville Heights Elementary School, which is facing state takeover after receiving an “F” rating three years in a row. Anderson’s students pulled eviction records and housing conditions, and cross-referenced demographics to provide a picture of issues that could affect Thomasville students’ ability to attend school. Purpose Built Schools is planning to incorporate their recommendations in the upcoming school year.
Through a collaboration with Georgia State’s School of Public Health, Anderson and her Law and Health Equity students helped with the Atlanta Youth Count and Needs Assessment, a comprehensive survey of youth homelessness in Atlanta. They helped develop the survey questions not only to capture the number of homeless youth, the circumstances that led to their homelessness as well as their future plans. The resulting report provides practical information on the size, nature and needs of the homeless and runaway youth in Atlanta that can inform development and refinement of policies, programs and interventions.