As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 2 Corinthians 9 (NLT)
Part of CCNL's mission statement addresses the desire to see "the flourishing of the community of London". One of the ways we can seek the good of the city is to encourage Christians to demonstrate God's deep heart of compassion for those citizens in need. There are many worthwhile programs happening all over London that address the needs of people - in churches, in ministries, and in community initiatives. Bridges Out of Poverty is just one of them that you might want to learn more about that helps build deeper understanding of both the causes and effects of poverty while providing support for change.
Jessica Justrabo, the Bridges out of Poverty/Circles® co-ordinator shares the following information (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Bridges Out of Poverty has been utilized for many years as our community training. Last year, Social Work Students, Community Agencies, and Circles Leaders worked together to create a locally developed training. It is rooted in local statistics, experiences and focuses on how to be a part of change, locally, provincially and federally. If you or someone you know would like to participate in an upcoming training, please contact email@example.com.
Circles London is a community initiative co-led by Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes and City of London Social Services (Ontario Works). Their volunteers are comprised of caring and compassionate individuals who meet to share information, support, resources, meals, and friendship. The goal is to support individuals to obtain economic self-sufficiency and become active members of their community who advocate for changes.
It is a program offering a community of support to build intentional, friendship-based relationships between people in generational poverty and middle-class volunteers. The goal is to gain a better understanding of both the valuable resources and systemic barriers that exist in our community so that people experiencing poverty can have the best possible chance to create life changes resulting in permanent self-sufficiency. Circle members also advocate for change regarding the systemic barriers that sustain poverty in our community.
Getting Ahead is a program for people currently on Ontario Works. It involves work done in a safe learning environment, supported by an experienced facilitator and co-facilitator. It enables participants ("investigators") to examine their own experience of poverty, as well as explore issues in the community that impact poverty (banking, housing, jobs, transportation), providing critical information the community can use to take action to end poverty. The facilitator guides investigators through an assessment of their own resources, and how to build those resources as part of their move toward self-sufficiency. This program puts the concepts, tools, and relationships in the hands of people experiencing poverty to make a difference in their own lives and in the life of their community.
Guiding Coalition Members:
- ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities
- Child and Youth Network
Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes
- Information London (a project of thehealthline.ca Information Network)
- Leads Employment Services
- United Way London and Middlesex
- Youth Opportunities Unlimited
- School of Language and Liberal Studies, Fanshawe College
- First St Andrews Church
- School of Social Work, Kings University College at Western
- Christian Churches Network of London
What do we need:
- We need meal providers
- Meals instill that community members would take time to prepare and share a meal with their neighbours. This is an important part of our program if you can’t volunteer once a week.
- We need experienced child care providers
- We have child care at every program, and the kids who attend our program are just as much a part of “breaking the cycle of poverty”.
- We need "Allies"
- This role is to support, care and encourage a Circle Leader (program participant) to meet their goals.
For more information about upcoming workshops or learn more how you might get involved, please contact Jessica Justrabo at 519-850-9000.