SSG’s Research & Evaluation Team was originally founded in 2003 to provide Census Data and Geographic Information Services (GIS) to SSG’s divisions and our community partners. In many respects the R&E Team also began as an experiment to test how research and evaluation could be conducted with communities at the service of social justice and community benefit.
Some of our early research projects were strategically designed to produce data and findings that would inform innovative program development and public policy agendas. For instance, in 2008, SSG published a research report, Unsheltered: A Report on Homelessness in South Los Angeles. This report was used by our homeless services division as an advocacy tool to highlight the needs in South LA, which has been traditionally eclipsed by Downtown LA.
The current R&E Team is a testament to the fact that this experiment worked better than anyone ever thought it could. Not only did it work, but we’ve seen project after project that working closely with communities is really the only way to do research and evaluation related to complex social issues.
We are deeply indebted to numerous community residents, organizations, leaders, funders and partners who have walked this path with us. We thank you for all your support and look forward to many more opportunities.