Our vision is that everyone has enough money, meaning, and friends to thrive.

We seek to inspire and equip communities to reduce poverty and remove the barriers that stand in the way. We envision a critical mass of Circles locations across America that want to cut their communities’ poverty rate by 10%. Studies have proven that 10% is a tipping point, after which change spreads more readily and rapidly. A 10% reduction is an achievable and measurable goal — and it’s enough of a change in each community to tip the scale toward a prosperous and strong nation.

Poverty is more than a lack of material wealth. Relying on government assistance can be dehumanizing. Adults who cannot provide for themselves and their families report feelings of isolation, shame, and depression. 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.

“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

The responsibility for both poverty and prosperity rests not only in the hands of individuals but also in the hands of societies, institutions, and communities. Reducing poverty 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 society 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.