Burke County Circles™ Initiative
Circles™ is a national program designed to eliminate poverty. Circles™ has proven results in assisting families to become self-sufficient by reducing government assistance, developing and achieving educational goals and objectives, and increasing family income. Families are provided the training, networking, and social capital essential to getting out of poverty. The program’s success is the extent of community involvement. The transformational approach partners volunteers and community leaders with families in need.
The key components of the program:
Each Circles™ initiative is developed and designed by a coalition of committed community leaders. The Coalition works to change the mind set and policies of the community with respect to poverty. The Burke County Coalition was initiated by a coalition of United Methodist Churches, local community leaders, human service representatives, and local government representatives.
The family, the circle leader, establishes goals and objectives and establishes the direction and activities that results in positive steps to moving out of poverty. Circle leaders attend a 15 week group training program to assess current relationships, resources and reasons or purpose for making positive life changes.
The circle leader is partnered with community allies. Allies are middle and upper in-come members of the community who befriend families and lend needed support to guidance on building financial, emotional and social resources. Each circle leader is matched with 2 – 4 allies. The Coalition will recruit and train allies.