Circle Leader

An individual or family with a low-income who is interested in meeting her/his household needs on a consistent basis and becoming self-sufficient. The Circle Leader is responsible for her or his Circle: convening, leading, and giving and receiving support. She or he will work with Allies to complete her/his plan that was developed in the Getting Ahead group and with the Circles Coach. Getting Ahead prepares Circle Leaders to take a leadership role in the Circle and to use their knowledge and skills as problem solvers to work on poverty issues in the community as well.

Circle Allies

Community members who want to be in a supportive, intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working to get out of poverty. Circle Allies work with the Circle Leader to figure out how to accomplish her or his plan. Within the guidelines set by the Guiding Coalition, Circle Allies do what makes sense and what brings joy to the relationship. Circle Allies are trained in Bridges out of Poverty as a way to work with Circle leaders in supporting their plans to get out of poverty.

Allies and Circle Leaders build and use social capital across class and race lines to build a healthier community. A special vocabulary is learned to understand the relationships among poverty, economic class, race, and community prosperity that builds relationships of mutual respect.

Community Guiding Coalition

A group of families and allies that designs the local community-based Circles initiative. The Guiding Coalition is a representative group that includes people from all economic classes and races who are committed to building their community and ending poverty. The Guiding Coalition is responsible for Circles implementation.  Guiding Coalition members learn Circles conventions by attending an orientation on the Circles model and a workshop on Bridges out of Poverty concepts.

The Circles Coach

The Circles Coach is a person who supports the Circle Leader in the fine-tuning of her or his plan and in navigating the social service systems. The Circles Coach can assist the entire Circle in figuring things out, providing information, or helping to mediate difficult situations.

The Circles Coordinator

An individual who helps organize the community and supports the Guiding Coalition in developing the resources needed to implement a Circles initiative.

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