Many of our hardworking neighbors live in poverty, struggling to get by. In one year, we equip them for skilled work in living-wage careers so they can continue to make South Norfolk a thriving place to live, work, and belong.

Poverty Affects All of Us

 

Economic

1 in 5 South Norfolk Residents cannot afford Basic Needs

  • Our 9% unemployment is twice the national and state-wide rate

  • 50% of the workforce earns less than a living wage

  • Over half the population is housing insecure


Relational

Our Communities are divided by race & class

Too often, cultural blindness keeps us from seeing the plight of our neighbors. Social connections are key to mobility and a sense of happiness - yet few of us have significant friendships with those outside our demographics. This division leads to all kinds of unequal outcomes and an overwhelming sense of helplessness regarding the problems we do see.


Approach

WE help those “in” Poverty, but never fight the poverty itself

Our country’s decades-long “War on Poverty” has more often than not been exercised as a “war on poor people”, especially damaging the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in our communities. Even our best intentions usually don’t confront the root problems of poverty, but only assist individuals in crisis situations, and never see them with the potential and gifts to create their own future.

Connecting Neighbors with skills, services & support

 

The next workforce of Hampton Roads is already here - we’re equipping our neighbors to move from low-wage jobs and into skilled work careers.

 
 

Coaching

A 6-week Personal Development training camp and one-on-one case management that addresses and overcomes barriers to self-sufficiency.

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Job Training

A paid pathway through technical school, apprenticeship, or other middle skill programs, and connections to meaningful careers in growing industries.

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Relationships

We connect neighbor to neighbor, forming a family of support, so the entire community can help the graduates thrive and belong.

 

We provide a pathway to self-sufficiency through an integrated community of training and support. We want all our neighbors to have the opportunity to build a living in a meaningful career and a life in a flourishing community.

 
 
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Providing pathways out of Poverty

On average, this program produces a 75% success rate, where graduates maintain living-wage employment at least 6 months or longer. As a result, their monthly income increases ten times over their pre-program earning. All told, there is a $7 to $1 return for every dollar invested through increased income, taxes paid and decreased government assistance.


A Thriving place to live, work, and belong.

Our program is designed to do whatever it takes to help individuals overcome the barriers and effects of poverty. The key is an integrated community that supports and surrounds our neighbors, so their potential can be unleashed and they can reach sustainable independence. In the end, lasting change will come from those most impacted by the problems of poverty, when their voices are heard and their gifts are made known.

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