Circles USA is pursuing a 10-year goal to inspire a 10% reduction of poverty rates in 10% of all U.S. counties (300 of them). We are building Poverty Reduction System models that are synced with the emerging economy. While the idea of ending poverty seems impossible to many people, reducing it by 10% in 10 years seems more doable to the audiences I have shared my vision with over the past five years.
Perhaps the 10% number in 10 years harkens back to reaching the moon by the end of the ’60s, or 10% tithing as a reasonable amount to give back to one’s community of faith. Whatever it represents to people, we now have 60 counties on board in 21 states and counting to pursue this goal. When people get their minds around what this might take, everything that works against the goal comes to the surface with new clarity. The needs I keep hearing are for:
- Better, updated job-creation strategies
- More powerful and better-targeted training programs for the job demands of the emerging economy
- Performance metrics and payment systems that reward workforce programs that help people make progress to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- A strong safety net with the complete elimination of the Cliff Effect (disproportionate decreases in safety-net benefits when earning increases), incentivizing and rewarding work with pro-rated, easy-to-manage benefit schedules
- Community-building programs that give people weekly support to manage poverty issues while they pursue a self-directed pathway to economic stability.
From the book: Enough Money, Meaning & Friends ~ By Scott C. Miller
To learn more about Scott Miller, please see his website here.