CSUP's primary mission is to encourage and facilitate academic research into the causes and consequences of urban poverty and the effectiveness of policies aimed at alleviating poverty. The Center's research agenda focuses on three broad issues:
Poverty in Los Angeles. Located in the second largest city in the United States, CSUP is well positioned to make a major influence in better understanding the lives of the poor and fashioning policies to ameliorate impoverished communities. As the only research center dedicated to issues on poverty in Los Angeles and the rest of California, CSUP influences popular, academic, and legislative interpretations of the urban poor.
The Working Poor. The diversity of the Los Angeles economy and its location as a major port of entry for new arrivals from Latin America and Asia affords CSUP a unique window through which to research and prescribe policies affecting immigrant and other impoverished workers such as African Americans. Los Angeles, a repository of ethnic groups, low skill jobs, a large service and informal economy, and a host of other low paying occupations allows for unique insights into workplace dynamics on issues related to poverty, race, and nativity status.
Transition to work/disadvantaged low skill workers. Transitioning low skill or institutionalized men and women into better paying jobs or into the labor market is an important first step in ameliorating poverty. The evaluation of policies, programs, and innovative solutions that address this transition is the final major focus of CSUP.