The Circles® National Development Center in Indianapolis is working with community organizations, including the Indianapolis hospitals, churches, United Way and schools, to implement and offer training programs focused on empowering people who strive to get out of poverty.
Families living in poverty who are highly motivated to improve their situations go through in-depth training and are matched with trained middle or upper class “Allies” who become intentional friends and accountability partners to help them move toward their goals.
A two-year, $500,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Health has seeded the center in Indianapolis, which also has received additional funds from private sources to reach an initial investment of $800,000. Dr. Lemons expects the center to generate $23.5 million in new Circles® Program funds over the next seven years, reach more than 4,000 families and have an annual societal impact of more than $76 million a year within seven years.
The Indianapolis center currently is recruiting a director and seeking space for its offices in the Downtown area.
Prior to the establishment of the new center, communities have been operating in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Muncie, Evansville, Scott County and Blackford County, each committed to helping an initial 25 families leave poverty. Once they are established, the families help build new systems of support to help others achieve economic stability.
Muncie, Bloomington and Scott County have been working with families in Circles® for five, three and two years, respectively. The initiatives in Evansville, Indianapolis and Blackford County have been involved in the work for a year.
Circle® Contacts in Indiana include:
Bloomington Blakely Clements, South Central Community Action Program, Bloomington