Longview Bridges Out of Poverty

Longview Bridges Out of Poverty is based on a national construct known as Bridges out of Poverty, Strategies for Professionals and Communities. Bridges takes the approach of looking at poverty through "the triple lens" ­Individual, Institutional and Community/Policy focus.

Longview Bridges is designed to build relationships across class and race lines while drawing on individual experiences to help better address the concern of individual economic instability in our community. Longview Bridges is not a program. Bridges is a way for all sectors of the community to come together with the common goal of building sustainable communities.

Individual living on the low rung of the economic ladder, can begin their climb to self­sufficiency by joining Getting Ahead, based on a 16-­session curriculum called, “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World”. Participants co­-investigate barriers to reaching self­sufficiency, during which time they construct their plan to move out of poverty. Upon graduating from Getting Ahead, families join with other Getting Ahead graduates in small groups, called Bridge Buddies, who meet monthly to provide encouragement and support, while addressing barriers that often keep people in poverty.

Common terms of Bridges out of Poverty:


Poverty:
As defined by Dr. Ruby Payne, "The extent to which an individual does without resources."

Resources:
Financial, Emotional, Mental, Formal Register, Spiritual, Integrity and Trust, Physical, Support Systems, Relationship/Role Models, Motivation and Persistence, and Knowledge of Hidden Rules.

Hidden Rules:
Unspoken "rules" that we bring with us based on past experiences that we all have in common. For instance, food -­ Food is something that every person needs, but how we view food may be very different. Food is about quantity for those coming from low­income. The question is asked, "Is there enough?" For those coming from middle class, the question is: "Was it good? Did you enjoy your meal?" The class of wealth may be more concerned with the quality and presentation. The focus is on the quality and "look" of the food­ served on nice dishes/china or garnishes on the plate.

Mental Models:
Internal pictures of how the world works, our "mindsets". Mental Models for Bridges are based on how we think about economic classes.

Getting Ahead
:
A step­-by-­step life planning workbook designed to allow low­income families to co­investigate the effects of poverty on their lives and create a path for making a stable and secure future.

To make a donation to Longview Bridges out of Poverty, please send to:

Friends of Partners in Prevention
140 E. Tyler St., Suite 400
Longview, Texas 75601