You may have heard that we recently acquired the program CirclesGR. They are a formidable organization in their own right and we are so thrilled to have them join our family so that we may build even healthier communities together! As a local chapter of a national organization, Circles USA, CirclesGR’s approach to ending poverty is unique. Like Streams of Hope, they believe the solution to stronger, healthier communities begins with access to better education and resources.

It sounds pretty amazing, right? Here’s how the CirclesGR initiative works.

WHO: 43 million Americans live below the poverty line; 14.5 children are living poverty and 14.5% of households do not have enough to eat. For a problem as widespread as poverty, its solution must be proportionately great.

That’s why CirclesGR believes that poverty alleviation should involve everybody. By bringing together “middle-income and high-income volunteers together with low-income communities,” everyone has a chance to learn and grow from one another.

WHAT: CirclesGR is a program that consists of weekly meetings between participants (Circle Leaders) and volunteers (Circle Allies). Through training and relationship-building, Circles Leaders are empowered to take the necessary steps to achieve financial stability. The program typically lasts for about 18 months, but the relationships made continue to flourish beyond the setting of the program.

WHY: Poverty isn’t just a lack of material wealth. It can deeply impact an individual’s self-worth and humanity. Conversely, financial stability is able to produce pride, empowerment, and confidence. We believe that the community can only thrive when the individual does. This is why CirclesGR invests in each person and provides them with the tools they need to grow in financial wealth and stability.

HOW: CirclesGR is effective because it attacks the fundamental causes of poverty. Circle Leaders create and reach goals they make with the support of Circle Allies. The circle groups are also intentionally kept at an intimate size to maintain the integrity of the meetings.

As the current CirclesGR cohort continues to meet virtually every week during the Covid shutdown, we are grateful for the strength and courage of the Allies and Leaders involved. We’re so excited to see this partnership flourish. Learn more about CirclesGR here.