Resolve Poverty
& Thrive



Overview



The Circles program supports families from poverty to stability. Each Circle is comprised of a carefully matched Circle Leader (a family or individual with low income) and Circle Allies (middle to upper-income individuals). The Circle Leaders identify goals, and with the support of the Allies, they develop a plan to reach them. Each week Circles groups meet to discuss strategies for attaining prosperity and to provide peer support.

Circles Putnam County meets every Thursday (except holidays) from 6-8 p.m. at Gobin United Methodist Church, 305 Simpson Street, Greencastle.

A free meal and childcare are provided.

Our weekly meetings of Circle Leaders, Allies and other Volunteers provide us the opportunity to socialize, develop networks, share and practice new skills, discuss strategies for attaining prosperity, and provide peer support. With an emphasis on collaboration and connecting with existing social/community services, Circles works to facilitate the relationships and connections that will achieve stronger, more sustainable outcomes and permanently end poverty within the community.



Goals & Future Plans – Circle Leaders go through a 12-week class to prepare an individualized economic stability plan. People begin by reconnecting to their dreams for their family’s future. Through SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goal setting and budgeting work, they begin to outline their plans to bring these dreams into reality.

Allies & Weekly Meetings – Community volunteers are trained as Allies to support Circle Leaders to achieve their goals. Circle Leaders lead their Circle by convening regular meetings and asking Allies for what they need to help them become economically stable.

Big View – Big View is a monthly meeting focused on educating the community about barriers such as the Cliff Effect that occur when people leave welfare and other subsidy programs. Policy makers are educated to the benefits of providing a pro-rated exit plan for all subsidy programs in order to allow people to afford paying for new health insurance, childcare, etc. with their new earned income.

Resource Teams – Circles is driven by volunteer Resource Teams that are supported by certified Circles staff. The Resource Teams ensure that all features of Circles are fully functioning to support families in achieving their economic stability goals. The teams also work to fully utilize volunteers without duplicating any existing services.


The Circles Approach

Circles is a long-term approach to end poverty permanently in our community. Each week, local families, working to overcome poverty (Circle Leaders) meet with community volunteers (Allies) over dinner. During these meetings, Circle Leaders work on their goals toward self-reliance. Over time, income improves, debt and public assistance decrease and necessary relationships are built.

Circle Leaders Commit To:

  • Complete Circle Leader training
  • be a part of Circles for a minimum of 18 months
  • Attend weekly meetings to make progress on goals and receive support
  • Identify ways to contribute to Circles
  • Befriend their Allies

The Benefits Of Joining Circles

There are many benefits to joining the Circles community. Circle Leaders will receive tools that help with managing money and time more effectively, training on communication skills for stronger relationships, and support from a caring community of Allies, volunteers, and Circles Staff. Circle Leaders have the unique chance to build meaningful relationships across class lines and witness the impact of their self-sufficiency journey. Interested in being enrolled in Circles Putnam County? Please complete this application to get started today!


Circle Leaders, Allies and a diverse array of community members gather in five collaborating teams to understand, engage with, and address poverty in the community. There are five different volunteer-based teams in which you can choose to participate: Community Team, Recruitment Team, Jobs and Education Team, Services Team and Big-View Team. Go HERE for a more thorough explanation of each resource team.”

Use our Resource Team Involvement Form to help you determine where you are best suited to serve. When you’ve found your best fit, please complete our Volunteer Application.

  • Recruit Circle Leaders, Allies and volunteers.
  • Gather a team and prepare a meal for a Circles training group.
  • Serve a meal and help clean up.
  • Enrich the lives of children whose parents are in Circles during the group.
  • Be an Ally to a Circle Leader (training provided). For more information watch this and read here.
  • Sponsor a Circles participant (any gift up to $420). Donate here. Please be sure to choose “Circles” in the dropdown menu.
  • Join the Coalition that is empowering people to become self-sufficient. Get more information here.
  • Enact change in our community through monthly Big View meetings, working to remove barriers. Learn more here.