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Circles Initiative

Circles® provides support by making the personal and community connections that are important for successful life change.

"We believe that all people need sufficient relationships, money, and meaning in their lives to thrive."  Monroe County Circles Guiding Coalition. Supporting Individuals and Building Community

A Circle is a supportive friendship across class lines, made up of one Circle Leader who is living on a low-income and three or four Circle Allies who are living on a middle-class income. A Circle typically meets once or twice a month to work toward achieving the Circle Leader's plans for moving out of poverty.
Download the Circles® Brochure


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About the Circles® Initiative

Circles® is an innovative campaign to eliminate poverty that is active in dozens of locations throughout the country. A local Guiding Coalition provides the framework to increase the emotional and financial stability of participating families and reduce their use of welfare benefits. Just as importantly, Circles® brings the experience of poverty into the hearts and minds of community members and leaders, taking us one step closer to a national commitment to end poverty.

How it Works

Circle Leaders and Allies are matched by their talents and interests and are each asked to make an 18 month commitment. Everyone is expected to meet with his or her Circle at least once a month. In addition, Leaders are asked to attend the weekly Community Meeting. Children's programming and dinner are provided during this time. It is the connection formed during these meetings with Allies and other Leaders that builds respect and understanding, linking people together to end poverty one family at a time.

Circle Leaders

Circle Leaders are individuals or families who are motivated to get out of poverty. The Leader is in charge of creating his or her own plan to increase their financial, professional, and social resources to move out of poverty. The Leader will teach his or her Ally about the experience of poverty. Leaders are comfortable participating in groups and have a willingness to accept support from others, especially Circle Allies.
Download the Circle Leader Application Packet

Circle Allies

Circle Allies are community members who form a supportive friendship with a Circle Leader. Allies work with the Leader to figure out how to accomplish his or her plan, offering help in areas in which they are familiar, whether it's financial, educational, or social/community connections. Allies can be anyone with stable resources who genuinely want to help and to learn.
Download the Circle Ally Information Packet

Training for Leaders and Allies

Potential Leaders participate in a one-night-a-week training for eighteen weeks. Training participants study poverty and discuss and share their experiences surviving without adequate resources. They identify strengths and set goals to build financial, professional, and social resources in their own lives. Children’s programming and meals are provided free of charge.

Potential Allies participate in orientation and on-going training to study poverty and the effects it may have on families and individuals. Allies also learn valuable skills that will help them form a solid, supportive relationship with their Circle Leader.

Community Education & Big View

Through outreach events, Circles® provides the community with a framework for understanding poverty. It is our goal to raise awareness of poverty. It is our goal to raise awareness of issues of poverty so that everyone can come together to work on removing the barriers that make it difficult for people to get out of poverty.  We welcome the opportunity to speak to groups about poverty in our community and the Circles® Initiative.  For more information contact: Linda Patton, Circles® Coordinator, lindap@insccap.org, (812) 339-3447, ext. 206.

Circles® Volunteers

Circles® is an innovative campaign to eliminate poverty that is active in dozens of locations throughout the country. A local Guiding Coalition provides the framework to increase the emotional and financial stability of participating families and reduce their use of welfare benefits. Just as importantly, Circles® brings the experience of poverty into the hearts and minds of community members and leaders, taking us one step closer to a national commitment to end poverty.  There are many volunteer opportunities within this model.  If you're interested in volunteering read and download the forms below.
Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Handout
Youth Community & Meal Preparation Volunteer Application Packet
In-Kind Verification Form
Youth Program Volunteer Handbook

CoNtact us

For more information contact:
Linda Patton - Circles® Coordinator | lindap@insccap.org | (812) 339-3447 Ext. 206
Carrie Felton - Circles® Coach | carrie@insccap.org | (812) 339-3447 Ext. 263