Bridges Out of Poverty
At Main Street Mission as the numbers continue to increase of those neighbors needing to receive food and clothing, we began to feel it paramount to create a different outcome. Not one of a revolving door of services, but rather opening a door to a new future story with more resources and the ability for one to help themselves.
After reading the book Toxic Charity by Bob Lupton and receiving the Bridges Out of Poverty Training we launched our Bridge Builder's initiative in 2014 to begin a new shift in the charity paradigm and to move from betterment to development within our community thus raising up leaders within our community that have the ability to not only live a more stable life, but to ultimately give back. We currently have 7 graduated classes!
The Bridges Initiative consists of two interrelated programs:
1. Getting Ahead Classes
Getting ahead classes are for those that currently find themselves living in instability due to a lack of resources. Those that enter our doors for food and clothing participate in an interview process and this is where we identify candidates that have a real desire for change and are seeking something more. The class is a 15 week program designed to allow our neighbors time each week to investigate their life now, their community conditions, the reasons why one finds themselves in poverty and the hidden rules and resources needed to live a more stable life. Upon completion of the class a Graduation is held and each participant has an opportunity to begin re-write their new future story. Also, if participants choose they may have a "HOPE team" to walk alongside them as they work toward a more stable life.
2 Bridges Training
The Bridges training is offered to those in our community living in middle class. This training offers a new perspective for understanding and addressing the dynamics which characterize life in poverty and why it is so difficult for people to break out of poverty. Bridges offers insight into the different world of people in poverty, revealing how the survival-based mentality of poverty impacts learning, work habits, and decision-making. Those attending learn the hidden rules of poverty, middle class, wealth and the assumptions which people in middle class bring to encounters with people in poverty. You will discover how grief and trauma keep many people locked in poverty and you will begin to explore practical yet compassionate strategies for engagement that can have positive impact on people's lives.
At the completion of the training you are eligible to be a part of a "HOPE Team" to walk alongside one of our Graduates as they work toward their new future story.