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Getting Ahead Program – ChesMRC partners with Talbot County DSS

In January, ChesMRC employees Michelle Hammond and Melissa Micriotti attended the Bridges Out of Poverty training provided by Talbot Family Network. The seminar and training helped attendees learn how to use a new “lens” when looking at poverty. The seminar helped them gain a deep understanding of the Bridges strategies and processes, it developed effective poverty reduction strategies for organizations and communities and it allowed ChesMRC to network with other agencies in the community who are also passionate about ending poverty.

From this training came an opportunity for Talbot County through funding provided by the Talbot Family Network (TFN) to the Department of Social Services (DSS). ChesMRC is partnering with DSS to provide the Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’- By World program to six individuals in our community that are currently living in poverty. The program will run from March to June for 16 weeks meeting weekly allowing the focus group to investigate poverty in their area. The focus group will also receive compensation for the work they complete in the program. The purpose of the Getting Ahead program allows the individuals to:

  • Explore and analyze the themes of their lives.
  • Assess their resources
  • Make their own arguments for change
  • Build their own future stories
  • Make their own choices
  • Enjoy the power that comes from solving problems and controlling their own lives
  • Make concrete plans for economic stability
  • Become skillful at using the hidden rules of class to build resources
  • Prepare themselves to take a seat at the decision making table in our community.

ChesMRC is excited to start this initiative as it is the first step in identifying and working to end poverty from the ground level. It is also a great way to help our clients begin critical thinking and investigating to create economic stability for themselves and families.

Once the program is completed, ChesMRC and DSS will review the data and discuss how to replicate the program building upon our experiences. Over time, we will move to presenting our ideas to our community partners, government and businesses to engage them in understanding non-resourced individuals and reducing their population in the County.