What would it take to end poverty in Northwest Arkansas?

Guest post by Christina Williams, Founder of Circles NWA

In a time where we see so many in our community facing loss of housing, unemployment, and food insecurity, the problem of poverty can seem insurmountable. Do we accept that poverty is something that will always be with us, or are we willing to do what it takes to end it? A complex problem certainly will require a complex solution, but at Circles NWA we believe that ending poverty starts with a community that believes it can be done.

Circles is a community-driven program that works to increase upward mobility for individuals and families in poverty in Northwest Arkansas. The program is designed for families to set and achieve real goals to increase their income and stability, and the program surrounds them with the resources and support needed to achieve these goals. Poverty is about more than a lack of material wealth, and Circles utilizes the power of social capital to expand social networks and increase upward mobility. By bringing people together across income lines, Circles creates opportunities for purposeful proximity and expands community understanding of what it means to be in poverty.

Circles is a community-driven program that works to increase upward mobility for individuals and families in poverty in Northwest Arkansas. The program is designed for families to set and achieve real goals to increase their income and stability, and the program surrounds them with the resources and support needed to achieve these goals. Poverty is about more than a lack of material wealth, and Circles utilizes the power of social capital to expand social networks and increase upward mobility. By bringing people together across income lines, Circles creates opportunities for purposeful proximity and expands community understanding of what it means to be in poverty.

Program participants are called Circle Leaders because we see them as the experts on poverty and the voices we need to lead our community in identifying the next wave of strategies and solutions. Circle Leaders are matched with volunteer Allies who serve as their biggest supporters and advocates. Together, they work to pursue the Circle Leader’s goals.

Getting involved in Circles is a meaningful way to have an impact in our community. You will see the power of your presence, life experience, and connections at work. You will gain a broader perspective as you learn about the challenges that people in poverty face, and you will see first-hand the impact of systems and structures that keep people locked in a cycle of barely getting by.

At Circles NWA, we believe we can end poverty. Our program is based on the national Circles USA®️ model, a result of over 20 years of research with over 80 chapters across the United States and Canada. Circles NWA is the first chapter here in Arkansas!

Want to get involved? We are currently recruiting for our first cohort of Circle Leaders and Allies. Apply on our website below! Circles is a long-term solution to poverty that includes a weekly meeting and an 18-month commitment from Circle Leaders and Allies. The Circles program provides training to all Circle Leaders and Allies to prepare them to be successful in the program.

The first training will begin Summer 2021, and the first cohort will begin early Fall 2021.

Get Involved

At Circles NWA, we believe we can end poverty. Our program is based on the national Circles USA®️ model, a result of over 20 years of research with over 80 chapters across the United States and Canada. Circles NWA is the first chapter here in Arkansas!

Want to get involved? We are currently recruiting for our first cohort of Circle Leaders and Allies. Apply on our website below! Circles is a long-term solution to poverty that includes a weekly meeting and an 18-month commitment from Circle Leaders and Allies. The Circles program provides training to all Circle Leaders and Allies to prepare them to be successful in the program.

The first training will begin Summer 2021, and the first cohort will begin early Fall 2021.

Get Involved

Follow Circles NWA