In 2008, Naughton helped found Purpose Built Communities, becoming part of a brand new formula for social change. The Purpose Built model for transforming poverty- and crime-blighted neighborhoods into vital, thriving, mixed-income communities began in the metro Atlanta East Lake Meadows housing project. So dangerous it was known as “Little Vietnam” in the mid-‘90s, it is now home to the best public school in Georgia; safe, mixed income housing; and employment for previously shattered families. Naughton served as executive director of the East Lake Foundation for seven years.
An expert in public/private partnerships, Naughton is part of a team that is bringing the East Lake Meadows model to communities around the country. By creating groundbreaking alliances in housing and education, business and government, Purpose Built Communities is breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.