Bridge the Gap

Bridge the gap helps build healthy, sustainable communities by addressing poverty at the individual, institutional, community and policy levels.

A local Bridge the Gap initiative includes:

  • A community conversation about poverty that includes dialogue among market sectors
  • The Bridges Out of Poverty training for increased understanding of economic cultures
  • Formation of a local steering committee to remove barriers to success
  • Ongoing community engagement
  • Promotion and facilitation of the Getting Ahead program
  • Getting Ahead graduation ceremony
  • Coordination of post-graduation coaching and supplemental training

By taking a comprehensive approach, organizations and communities can develop effective poverty reduction strategies to be agents of change.

What is the “Bridges Out of Poverty” training?

Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities (Payne, DeVol and Dreussi-Smith) reaches out to service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with the lives of people in poverty. The Bridges training includes case studies, detailed analyses, helpful charts, and specific solutions that organizations and communities may implement to improve outcomes and better serve people in poverty. The training includes techniques that can be applied in relationship building, analyzing policies and procedures, mentoring, redesigning programs and community collaboration.

What is the “Getting Ahead” program?

Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World (DeVol) facilitates a process for people in poverty to investigate the impact that poverty has had on their lives and surroundings. Using this information, participants work in a group to explore economic realities and develop mental models to examine their own lives. The program shows how to use the hidden rules of class to build financial, emotional, social and other personal resources to create new future stories. Answers are not provided on how to establish economic stability, nor is the argument made for change. Instead, motivation, insight and plans come from the participants themselves. Upon completing Getting Ahead, participants have a plan of their own based on the knowledge acquired through the co-investigative process.