In the 12-square mile area that makes up Northeast Denver, 4,400 families live below the poverty line. What if they didn’t have to? What if, as a community, we worked with them to eliminate the class and societal barriers that keep them from achieving? We wanted to stop asking “What if?” and address the problem at its root, one family at a time.
At Upstream Impact, we are here to help Near Northeast Denver families escape poverty and pursue their dreams.
Bringing The Circles® Campaign to Denver
There simply isn’t a quick fix for poverty. One thing that doesn’t work, though, is throwing money at the problem.
That’s just like pulling people out of a river as it rushes by. Instead, we look to fix the problems that cause people to fall into poverty in the first place. To do this, we’ve aligned ourselves with the nationally established Circles Campaign, which takes a community involvement approach to helping individual families move from poverty to permanent self-sufficiency.
Building Community to End Poverty
With Circles, impoverished families take the lead in making a permanent change. To help them succeed, we surround them with middle and upper class volunteers from the local community who provide a structured atmosphere of support, access, learning, guidance, and resources. The moments they share inspire changes in the attitudes of everyone involved, and for the family, this opens doors to new relationships, new jobs, and new dreams.
Staying Small for Success
We decided to concentrate on families in one specific area of the city, so we can better focus our resources. We chose Near Northeast Denver because, while more than 27 percent of the families in this area live in poverty, the surrounding area is also home to many of the professionals and individuals whose experience and knowledge are critical for the support participating families will need to build a better life.