Mission / Vision


Mission: Building community to end poverty through intentional friendships, personal transformation, and systemic change led by the people closest to the challenge.

Vision: All individuals live in equitable, thriving communities where poverty no longer exists.

We seek to inspire and equip communities to reduce poverty and remove the barriers that stand in the way.

When some people live in poverty, everyone in the community pays a price. Adults who cannot provide for their families and contribute to the community report feelings of isolation, shame, and depression. On the community level, having residents who depend on government assistance drains precious resources.

“We have been conditioned to believe poverty is an unavoidable problem of society.
What if that’s not true? What if we have normalized a condition we could actually solve?”
— Scott C. Miller, Founder of Circles USA

But when people achieve financial security, they experience a surge of pride and confidence. Often, they say they have regained their dignity, their value, and their humanity. And the local economy benefits as more families move off assistance and start contributing to the tax base.

The work of reducing poverty rests not only in the hands of those experiencing poverty but also in the hands of the communities around them. Poverty reduction is not simply a humanitarian goal — it’s an economic imperative.

Indeed, a solution to poverty exists, and it is nonpartisan. Many conservatives believe the answer lies in people accepting more personal responsibility. Many liberals believe the key to reducing poverty involves providing more benefits. At Circles USA, we believe the right and the left can work together to reduce and eradicate poverty. Our model focuses both on what individuals can do to change their situations and on what communities can do to remove the barriers that stand in their way.

Circles USA is not a faith-based program. It is intended for any community group, government agency, or nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce poverty. Yet, faith-based organizations do use the Circles model as a way to give their members an opportunity to work with their community.