Bridges Out Of Poverty

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Financial stability - creating opportunities for success

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The Bridges out of Poverty work is about connectedness and relationships; it’s about all of us. Bridges offers a common language of understanding, both for people living in poverty and for those who work with them --- the two target populations of the Bridges initiative.  

Bridges 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. This community program 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.

The Bridges theory of understanding economic diversity has proven effective in important areas of education, delivery of human services and employee retention and working together for long-term community sustainability.

In A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges out of Poverty, Dr. Ruby Payne asserts that there are powerful hidden rules that govern behavior and interactions within different economic classes. When educators, human service providers, and employers work with people in poverty, these hidden rules are often the source of irritation and confusion among the parties and can be a barrier to success. By better understanding the challenges faced by people in poverty, and by learning to suspend the judgments that often accompany interactions along the continuum of economic class, providers can be partners in paving the way to economic stability.

The Bridges approach views individuals living in poverty as problem solvers who have the capability to exercise choice and power in designing their own "future stories." By assessing the various resources available or lacking to people in poverty, such as financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, and support systems, plans to grow these resources can be developed in an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity.

The Bridges out of Poverty program helps communities:

  • Move individuals from poverty to self-sufficiency
  • Reduce social costs related to crime, poor health, and welfare
  • Strengthen educational attainment and job skills
  • Enhance economic development
  • Improve on-the-job productivity
  • Revitalize neighborhoods
  • Build sustainable communities where everyone can live well.

What activities will be occurring?

In partnership with the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, the UWCC will be facilitating:

  • Workshops with schools – administration and teachers
  • Workshops with UWCC partner agencies and community case managers
  • Workshops with other community stakeholders
  • Poverty simulations