The Circles Mission is to Inspire and equip families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive.
What is a Circle? People in poverty need to be in charge of their own lives. In this initiative, they are known as Circle Leaders and during their involvement each Leader takes an increasingly active role in leading their Circle and giving back to the community. A Circle is a supportive, intentional, reciprocal, befriending relationship made up of one Circle Leader and two to three Circle Allies - volunteers from the community who build supportive relationships to help our Leaders achieve their goals. Circle Allies and other Circle volunteers join Circle Leaders in advocating for removing community barriers on people moving out of poverty.
Circles is a national organization with more than 70 chapters in the US and Canada, and we are proud to be the first site in South Carolina. We launched this community initiative in September of 2015. SHARE is the lead organization providing staff for Circles, and Buncombe Street United Methodist Church is our host site.
Circles is a two-part program. During the first part, Circle Leaders go through a 12-week training. Participants meet one evening a week to share a meal, discuss what is holding them back from success, and begin setting goals for the things they want to accomplish such as getting out of debt, finishing high school or college, obtaining training for a career, or building a bigger network of people they can count on.
During the second part of the program, Leaders are paired with Allies. Allies also go through a 6-12 week training before being matched. The goal of Circles is to connect people living in poverty with middle- and upper-income people in the community that can help them build a more secure future. Connecting Leaders to Allies increases their social capital. The second part of this program is an 18-month commitment for both the Leaders and Allies.
Another segment of the Circles program is to bring Leaders, Allies and the public together to solve some of the systemic issues hindering people in poverty from moving forward. Our Circle has identified these Big View areas for us to focus on: lack of affordable housing, lack of strong public transportation system, and lack of quality, affordable childcare slots. Solving these problems as a community helps thousands of people throughout our region.
Circles Greenville County meets on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 @ Buncombe Street United Methodist Church 200 Buncombe St., Greenville SC 29601Stella Hill-McBee, Circles Coach
(O) 864-269-0700 (C) 864-607-6495 Visit the Circles Website