A Poverty Reduction Lab is not a building — it is a coordinated community effort to examine and improve social services so more and more families can escape poverty.
Communities typically “manage” poverty. Under a poverty management system, services are disbursed to provide short-term relief instead of long-term stability. But when communities shift to a mindset of reducing poverty, the cycle of generational poverty is disrupted, families become self-sufficient, and the entire community experiences revitalization. Results of a true poverty reduction system include decreased spending on social services, a stronger tax base, and increased economic development.
Poverty Reduction Labs map out and analyze all of the social service programs in a community. The goal is to identify and develop more effective ways to move families into self-sufficiency.
In a Poverty Reduction Lab, teams of staff and volunteers are recruited from government agencies, local nonprofits, and community organizations. The teams also include people who are receiving social services.