How We Started. Why We Continue.
Circles® USA is the result of more than 20 years of research and the development of leadership tools for communities by Move the Mountain Leadership Center. The Circles model was developed after the organization discovered that social service agencies were not supporting real, long-term solutions for most people living in poverty.
Our mission has always been to inspire and equip families and communities to thrive and resolve poverty. We believe strongly that responsibility for both poverty and prosperity rests not only in the hands of individuals, but also with societies, institutions, and communities. It’s the underlying foundation of the Circles model – engage people and organizations in the community to end poverty.
Today, 70 plus communities in 19 states and parts of Canada have joined the Circles network. We’re inspired by the work that occurs at each location and by the commitment of both our volunteers and participants. Their stories of success demonstrate what we’ve believed all along – when communities come together and the right techniques are utilized, great change can occur.
Our work has drawn national attention by inspiring families and communities to commit to long-term solutions for addressing poverty. The Circles model has been implemented by many well-known organizations such as United Way, Goodwill, United Methodist Church, Lutheran Social Services, Community Action Partnerships, and Catholic Charities. It’s also been adapted by community colleges, housing corporations, workforce development centers, human service systems, community neighborhood centers, and hospitals. We’re proud that our work is supported financially by more than 300 foundations, major donors, corporations, and United Way chapters. It’s a testament to the need and to the results we continue to see.