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.