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Circles is a way for us to build relationships across class and race lines to end poverty in Fernley.
Circles is a community-based initiative to bring people together to help lift families out of poverty. Unlike traditional government assistance programs, Circles ? focuses on building relationships to create a support system for struggling families. Through their participation, families gain the knowledge, skills, and support to make a difference in their lives. Families who choose to participate in the initiative first complete 15 weeks of workshops to investigate the causes of poverty. This not only includes their personal choices and decisions, but also the economic and social factors that exist within their community. For instance, participants investigate the negative impact of Pay Day lenders and look at the effects a large presence of low paying, non-livable wage jobs has on a community. By the time they complete the workshops, each participant has an individual plan of how they will move out of poverty. With their goals set, and their plan in hand, each participant is then teamed up with three to five volunteers (or "allies") within the community who will assist them in reaching these goals. This is accomplished through close personal contact between the participant and their allies. The allies are not meant to "fix" the person's problem or provide handouts, but instead, support the family in finding practical solutions.
- Jessica Cutts
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