Circles USA is a national organization that oversees the work of 70 communities in the US and Canada working to help people gain financial independence. Co-founded by Scott Miller in the 1990s, the work has evolved to support communities in varying ways.
Miller says,” According to a report from the Institute for Research on Poverty, our nation spends $500 billion a year on the fallout of children being raised in poverty. The human, social, and economic effects of 1 in 5 children living in poverty are unacceptable and unsustainable. If we invest even a portion of this fallout on high impact solutions designed to help people journey completely out of poverty, imagine how our communities would change.”
Circles® is a high impact solution because it:
- Creates paths for low income leaders to realize their contributions (economically, as citizens, and leaders of their families) verses being consumers of programs or services.
- Expands the knowledge and understanding of middle and upper income citizens about the experiences of poverty through direct relationship with low income families.
- Connects with families in a multi-generational way verses isolating programs and services to the young or old.
- Utilizes the social capital of middle and upper income citizens to bridge opportunity gaps for those wanting to get out of poverty in order to increase their economic stability.
TEAMwork is a national training site for Circles and has trained Circles communities in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Evansville, Scott County, Wayne County, Grant County, Dayton (OH) and Holland (MI).