November 5, 2012 – In a 100-block area of northwest Detroit (B3 / 251093P87), residents who live near Focus: HOPE are about to see an experiment unfold. Officials of five social-service agencies, along with two schools, a library and a group that helps people with tax returns, have joined in a one-year pilot project. If it works, the idea will be replicated elsewhere in metro Detroit, officials said. The area — dubbed Hope Village — is to receive a United Way investment of $400,000, which will build a network of data sharing and coordinated outreach among the agencies and their partners, including the Parkman Branch of the Detroit Public Library, said Dona Ponepinto, vice president for basic needs and financial stability at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Starting in December, Focus: HOPE will implement the program, to be called Neighborhood Network, using new computer links and on-site coordinators to help turn dysfunctional families and chronically unemployed people into educated and productive citizens, she said. “The resources for nonprofits in this region are shrinking, so we have to figure out new ways to help individuals and families in crisis,” Ponepinto said.