12HANDS is a social and economic impact advisory firm. We were founded to address communities left behind. Our research has indicated as a local economy becomes depressed, bright young people and established professionals often depart to seek opportunities that were once available in the very community they are leaving. Many lose the opportunity to stay employed and fall into poverty. Physical capital often is drained from the area as well. Core business and other facilities become underutilized or closed down altogether. The flight of human capital and erosion of economic infrastructure simply exacerbate the problem. Once proud of their community they find themselves lost in disappointment,
A downward spiral often ensues. Finally, public infrastructure tends to decay and public service delivery suffers as local governments face declining resources. Communities are literally left behind.
12HANDS is not a "revival or gentrification" effort. We stand to create opportunities for individuals "living " within a community that is in decline due to starved resources. We help lower-income communities that have been essentially lost due to regional economies.
Rekindling these areas is heavy lifting, but not due to the efforts of individuals that reside in the community. The heavy lifting is simply the discipline and belief in people by individuals who have means and the spirit to lean into projects this important.
Our effort at 12HANDS is to help individuals and communities overcome challenges. We believe in people and we believe in our mission. We are told on every project that it won't work. Authentic support in low-income areas is like planting trees. It may take a while to grow, but the next generation will enjoy the beauty. “We have to change our mindset to be willing to invest in people on the front end versus thinking of ways to"prove" it can't work.