Bridges Out of Poverty inspires innovative solutions to counter poverty and its impact in a community.
Community Impact is a program that was created and is partially funded by Moffat County United Way and our granting partners. Currently the program provides our communities Bridges Out of Poverty program and is leading the conversation about transportation. Public transportation continues to be problematic for our community and with the economic hardships in rural Colorado we are seeing an increasing demand for service. We are currently collaborating with our community partners to develop a long-term solution.
Bridges Out of Poverty is a powerful model for economic and social change, sustainability, and stability. It inspires innovative solutions in those looking to counter poverty and its impact at all levels in a community. There are two parts to the Bridges Out of Poverty approach. The first part is to provide community members the opportunity to attend a Bridges Out of Poverty Community framework training. By attending individuals will:
- Increase their knowledge and understanding of the poverty culture.
- Learn key lessons in working with individuals in poverty.
- Build skill sets for management to help guide employees in poverty.
- Receive education about how front-line staff can better work with those in poverty.
- Learn how to improve treatment outcomes in health care and behavioral health care.
The second part of the Bridges Out of Poverty model is to offer Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting’-By World sessions for those in poverty. Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by-World curriculum was written for people in poverty. It provides a way to examine the impact that poverty has on individuals, families, and their communities. The aim of these sessions is to provide an agenda-free learning environment where participants will explore and analyze the themes of their lives, assess their own resources, make concrete plans for economic stability, and become skillful at using the hidden rules of class to build resources and a future story for themselves.
Graduates typically accomplish many positive goals after graduating from the program, such as abilities to:
- Focus on stabilizing their world
- Focus on building physical, emotional, financial, mental and spiritual resources
- Focus on getting and keeping jobs
- Focus on removing community and systematic barriers
Moffat County United Way offers the Getting Ahead course twice a year. We work closely with our counties human service agencies to obtain referrals for clients to enroll in the program. Applicants are interviewed and 14-16 individuals are chosen to be in the program. The course consists of 18 sessions, two per week for nine weeks. These Getting Ahead sessions are offered free of charge. We also provide dinner and childcare at no charge. At the end of the program we hold a Getting Ahead graduation for those who complete the program. This course is facilitated by our Community Impact Coordinator who is a certified Getting Ahead Facilitator. She is assisted by one of our Getting Ahead graduates.
Requirements to be eligible to participate in the Getting Ahead program are that participants:
- Live in Moffat County and are at least 18 years old
- Do not currently have an alcohol or drug problem
- If the individual has a history of mental health issues, we need a letter from a mental health professional stating that they are fit to participate
- An individual/family must be at 200% or below the Federal Poverty Level
- Must be willing and able to commit to attending class regularly. (Each class builds on what was learned in the last class, therefore, participants must be present at every class. If they become ill or have an emergency they are required to make up the class with the facilitator prior to the next class. Participants are given a $20 gift card as an incentive to attend each class. This is part of the Getting Ahead program because an individual is not likely to make life changes without getting new information that can only be obtained by attending.)
Current program funding comes from:
- Yampa Valley Community Foundation
- Daniels Fund
- Anschutz Family Foundation
- Moffat County HRC
- Moffat County ISST
- Union Pacific Railroad
- Kum & Go
- Moffat County United Way