Circles® USA is the result of more than 20 years of research. Today, Circles® USA meets at more than 80 locations in 22 states and parts of Canada.
The Circles® USA Model
CIRCLES OF SUPPORT
Circles forges intentional relationships across income lines. While middle- and upper-income families enjoy networks of support through their jobs, schools, and neighborhoods, families living in poverty rarely develop such contacts. Many who live in poverty are hardworking and motivated, so when a circle of support forms around them, advice is offered, contacts are shared, and the fears that keep people in poverty start to disappear.
Volunteers and participants grow and learn together. While participants navigate their way to prosperity, volunteers get an in-depth education on the culture of poverty. Participants’ successes and challenges are also analyzed at monthly meeting with community leaders. This enables a community to identify, discuss, and often resolve the barriers that keep people in poverty.
Participants—called Circle Leaders because they lead their own journeys out of poverty—get training on finances, employment, health, and communication skills. Volunteers who support Circle Leaders are called Allies, and Allies receive training on how to listen, ask questions, and make suggestions. Such training helps ensure success. Multitudes of other volunteers are also a key factor in the success of Circles.
CIRCLES SUCCESS STORIES
Because Circles ABQ is just getting started, we need time to build our local success stories. You can read about lives across the country that have been transformed by the Circles® USA model at their site.