Grant Funds Collaborative Battle Against Family Poverty

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Collaborative Initiative Sets Goal of “Eradicating poverty in Burke County – one family at a time,”

Local Grant Fights Family Poverty
More help for families working to get out of poverty is on the way.

A $7,125 grant, recently issued by the Community Foundation of Burke County, will be used to support the Burke County Circles Initiative with the goal of, “eradicating poverty in Burke County – one family at a time,” said M’Lisa Shelden, director of The Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) Center in Morganton.

The Burke County Circles Initiative is a community partnership between FIPP, Blue Ridge Community Action (BRCA), local churches, agencies, businesses, and individuals. The grant monies will be managed by BRCA and will offset a portion of the costs of providing high-quality child care during the weekly Circles sessions and cover transportation and other costs associated with attending meetings.

Local churches especially supportive and regularly involved in the project include the First United Methodist Church, St. Matthews United Methodist Church, Oak Hill Methodist Church and local outreach ministers Renee Lewis and Chester West.

“Burke County Circles is a community-based initiative focused on helping families to move out of generational poverty through a capacity building process centered on hard work, motivation, and relationships,” said, Mary Wright of Blue Ridge Community Action. “The primary participant is a family working to get out of poverty.”

The Circles’ initiative includes weekly meetings and the formation of peer groups, family leadership training, resource and relationship assessment and formation of action plans to emerge from poverty.

“It is during this time that Circle Allies, who are community volunteers, are matched with Circle Leaders and will meet regularly together to implement the action plan to support sustainable changes for Circle Leaders,” Shelden said.

For more information:
M'Lisa Shelden, PT, PhD

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