An initial partnership between KIC-IT and Home Bank brought author of Bridges to Sustainable Communities, Phil DeVol, to Johnson County on June 20-21, 2016. More than 150 attendees from across Johnson County, Indiana representing non-profit, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, and community members participated to learn how Bridges Out of Poverty helps communities in the following ways:
- move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency
- reduce social costs related to crime, poor health, and welfare
- strengthen educational attainment and job skills
- build sustainable communities where everyone can live well
As a result of Mr. DeVol’s presentation a group of interested community members organized a steering committee that has met monthly since August, 2016. Led by a community volunteer, Mark Kamer, the group adopted a mission that fosters collaboration among businesses, agencies, churches, and individual residents of Johnson County to end poverty by providing proven tools, resources, support, and relationships to foster stability and independence. We partner with Bridges Out of Poverty, founded by Dr. Ruby Payne and Circles ® Indy.
Basis of our Work
Bridges Out of Poverty
Reducing the social costs of poverty, strengthening the workforce, and building a more prosperous and sustainable community are goals on which most communities agree. Bridges Out of Poverty concepts have been brought to life through the aha! Process organization. aha! Process’s Bridges Out of Poverty community support program provides a family of concepts, workshops, and products to help employers, community organizations, social service agencies, and individuals address and reduce poverty in a comprehensive way. Bridges brings people from all sectors and economic classes together to improve job retention rates, build resources, improve outcomes, and support those who are moving out of poverty.
Through an approach that combines Bridges Out of Poverty concepts with the individualized support of dedicated volunteers and the resources of organizations and communities, Circles creates an environment that educates, empowers and equips members to move up and out of poverty successfully. Intentional relationships are formed between Allies and individuals moving out of poverty to help.
Steering Committee Goals
The committee has embarked on several goals to promote its mission including:
- Increase awareness and education of the issue of poverty.
- Train local organizations and agencies in Bridges and Circles foundational principles, e.g. mental models, underlying rules of classes and intentional relationships.
- Train individuals seeking to move out of poverty using Bridges and Circles approaches.
- Bring people from all sectors and economic classes together for weekly Circle meetings to address poverty and support individuals moving out of poverty.