Poverty Alleviation Systems

A Poverty Alleviation System is intended to replace the former Poverty Management System. It’s an evolution of the Circles model that expands the Big View into a radical collaboration across sectors.


At present, seven communities are collaborating with Scott Miller and Circles USA. Here are three samples of these pioneers:

– Riverton, WY: The school system aims to help parents with low incomes and has tapped us to create a capacity-building plan. The Circles model will be modified to create workforce pathways in partnership with businesses, secondary schools, and government agencies.

– Cookeville, TN: A community action agency focused on economic development has asked us to help prepare them for a large innovation grant opportunity being offered by the state. The approach will combine work pathways through the Circles model with a collective-impact backbone organization to drive prosperity into all fourteen of their rural and semi-rural counties.

– Hastings, NE: The United Way and Nebraska Community Foundation invited us to help them establish a poverty alleviation system supporting households at risk to poverty, domestic violence, and other factors. 

All sites address the problem of helping people out of poverty by meeting the workforce demand, which is at an all time high. 


– Assessment: Interview stakeholders (human services, business, education, government, and/or civic sectors, and those experiencing poverty) and report the challenges and opportunities

– Employer Engagement & Training: Research available jobs and barriers to employment for workers of low wealth and educate employers to raise their “poverty IQ”

– Train Systems Leaders: Provide directors with Transformational Leadership Curriculum

– Site Visit: Facilitate meetings to build a shared vision among stakeholders

– Dashboard: Define target group and metrics for tracking progress

– Final Report: Develop a final assessment with recommendations for Poverty Alleviation System design and implementation

Mental Models

Stay Tuned

We know many chapters are designing job pathways as a response to the emerging economy and community needs. We’ll share what’s learned with the entire network, so stay tuned to our newsletters. For more information, contact Kamatara@CirclesUSA.org.