Generational poverty is one of the greatest thefts of opportunity and hope in the United States. We believe that Compass has an obligation to maximize people’s potential to contribute to the civic, social and economic lives in our communities in which we all live. Communities do better if everyone achieves their full potential. In this spirit, we have identified a process of working with families, through Community Action, to help them achieve hope and to thrive with dignity. Our Project Thrive program utilizes the 2Gen process. Two-generation approaches help achieve family goals and ensure that everyone can contribute to the community and the economy. Family members don’t live in a vacuum. What happens in one generation affects the other, both positively and negatively. That’s why the 2Gen approach helps adults and the children in their lives set whole-family goals and work on them together. By generating a legacy of family well-being that passes from one generation to the next, 2Gen helps communities become stronger and more vibrant, socially and economically.
There are different phases that a family may need assistance and where Project Thrive is designed to help. We refer to those phases as emergency assistance, stabilization funding and self-sufficiency case management. With emergency assistance, services tend to be a one-time service of help or in a quick, immediate need. An example of this would be a family who had a car repair come up suddenly and the cost of that repair made it difficult to make rent next month. Without that extra expense, the family would have been able to survive without intervention. This could also include emergency services needed after a natural disaster or significant weather event.
Stabilization funding might last a few more times or include more services. This might include a family who had an extended illness that prevented full employment for a longer time than they had sick leave. Or they had no sick leave to begin with. Stabilization funding is designed to get a family caught up or back on their feet. These services could include housing, food, utility, mental health services, medical assistance or other medium range services. There typically would not be a pervasive poverty issue present.
Self-sufficiency assistance is a much more intensive process that works closely with a family to make forward progress toward self-sufficiency and off any public assistance for the long-term. This can include things like educational guidance, receiving a GED or advance diploma, financial counseling, credit building classes, intensive substance abuse or mental health treatment, advanced job training, first time home buyer counseling services, access to quality, safe childcare and transportation and other long-term solutions for breaking out of the generational poverty cycle.