Special to the Journal
Albany, Ga. – Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard will speak to Strive2Thrive participants and volunteers Thursday at the group’s Big View meeting.
Mayor Hubbard will discuss ways in which the city and Strive2Thrive, an initiative that empowers families to get out of poverty, can partner to make greater strides in reducing the number of people in poverty. The meeting will be held as a forum during which participants and volunteers can openly ask questions as well as share ideas.
“The purpose of the Big View Meeting is to bring community leaders, stakeholders, and citizens together with the families who are in poverty so that, together, we can create high-impact strategies that will lead the removal of barriers that keep people in poverty,” states Ausha Jackson, Strive2Thrive Program Director. “These barriers are often too much for families to tackle alone and can include lack of livable wages, affordable housing, affordable childcare, and reliable, affordable transportation.”
The Thursday night Big View meetings are an opportunity for community leaders and persons in poverty, or Circle leaders, to identify, discuss and overcome barriers to getting out of poverty. The meetings create meaningful discussions that aim to assist with community-wide mindset change as it relates to poverty, and also facilitates communication about participants’ progress, results and impact.
In Albany-Dougherty County, nearly 33 percent of families live in poverty. Since 2009, Strive2Thrive has been working closely with participants and volunteers in unique programming that provides the resources and guidance many need on their journey out of poverty.
Between 2010 – 2011, 36 low-income families enrolled in Strive2Thrive (with a total of more than 100 family members impacted). To date, the program shows the following dynamic successes: 91% (33 of the original 36 families that enrolled successfully completed Getting Ahead and graduated into “Circles”; More than 77 Allies made the 18-month commitment to help a family Get Ahead; 71% average increase in monthly earnings; 55% increase in enrollment in GED programs, post-secondary institutions, and/or career training programs; 22% average increase in assets; 48% obtained reliable transportation; 21% decrease in public benefits.
Thursday’s Big View meeting with Mayor Hubbard will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Greater Second Mt. Olive Sports Complex, 103 Dewey St. in Albany.