Community based poverty initiative led by Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida that matches highly motivated people living in poverty with allies who provide emotional support and assist with life issues.
MAP OF CIRCLES CAMPAIGN
WHAT IS A CIRCLE?
A Circle is an individual or family working to get out of poverty and two to three allies who support them in their ongoing efforts to develop the emotional, intellectual, financial, and spiritual resources necessary for self-sufficiency and stability.
The Circle Leader is the individual or family of low income who is interested in becoming self-sufficient. The Circle Leader is responsible for leading the circle as well as receiving and giving support within the circle. The Circle Leader works with the Allies to build his or her life plan while using their knowledge and skills as problem-solvers and poverty experts to work on the poverty issues in their community. Before being matched with allies, a Circle Leader must complete the fifteen week Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting’-By World™.
An ally is a volunteer engaged in an intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working on his or her plan to becoming self-sufficient. Within the guidelines set by Bridges to Circles, allies do what makes sense and what brings joy to the relationship. Before being matched with a Circle Leader, an ally attends two training sessions: Bridges Out Of Poverty© and Ally training.
WHEN DO THE CIRCLES MEET?
Bridges to Circles meets weekly for dinner and then a focused event. Activities for children and youth are provided after dinner. The first and third week of the month involves the Circle Leader meeting with their allies. The second week alternates between having a Guest Speaker to focus on a topic related to self-sufficiency and Big View meetings that examine the barriers that hold people in poverty and advocate for systematic change in the community. The fourth week has Circle Leaders meeting together and allies meeting together for support and training. If a month has five weeks then all of the above mentioned activities take place.
WHO LEADS THE CIRCLES INITIATIVE?
• The Bridges to Circles coach is responsible for working with Circle Leaders and their families on assessment and initial goal setting to navigate the social services system.
• The Bridges to Circles community organizer engages the community in developing solutions to the systematic barriers that perpetuate poverty and serves as the liaison for Bridges to Circles to the community.
• Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida is the lead agency involved in implementing Bridges to Circles and in working with the circle leaders, their families, and their allies.
• Guiding Coalition includes people from various social economic classes and races who are committed to ending poverty and supporting Bridges to Circles.
HOW DO I BECOME INVOLVED?
To Volunteer Click Here
For more information contact your local Bridges to Circles initiative:
Bridges to Circles
Office: (850) 429-7296
Bridges to Circles of Bay County
Office: (850) 763-0475