Sometimes, resources from outside of a community can help to build local capacity for the long-term.

A number of federal programs seek to build capacity in distressed communities, either directly or indirectly. The Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative, a program of the Obama Administration, worked in specific communities to align the resources of 19 federal agencies toward building local capacity.

In Gary, Indiana, the SC2 program assisted the community in creating actionable plans, coordinating public sector investments, convening diverse stakeholders to tackle problems, and work collaborative with philanthropy.

In Flint, Michigan, the effort focused on stabilizing neighborhoods, economic development, brownfield remediation, and improving public safety.

While SC2 is not currently operational in its original form, one source of outside capacity that was created with the program remains in action. The National Resource Network was launched by HUD, and still operates by providing technical assistance and on-demand access to resources to communities.