Circles Ashland, the first Virginia chapter of a national initiative, applies a unique relationship-based strategy that moves from a focus on managing effects of poverty to collective ownership of its solution in and around Ashland.
Deeply moved by and in response to an Ashland Town ordinance designed and passed in 2015 that severely limits long term occupancy of hotel rooms by homeless and nearly homeless children and families (reported to be over 200 rooms), a group of concerned citizens from a Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church banded together to form Circles Ashland, a faith friendly but not faith required organization.
Circle Leaders and their children - cohorts of ~12 adults and ~24 children - progress through 14 weeks of life skills (soft skills) training, including :
Accompanying Circle Leaders and their children for 24 months are 2 Circle Allies per Leader. Allies are coaches who help Leaders fulfill Leader's life plans by providing social support, encouraging skills development, and increasing access (bridging capital) to social, economic and community resources.
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