Engaging Communities to Reduce Poverty and Build Opportunity
Engaging Communities to Reduce Poverty
and Build Opportunity
Julie Keown-Bomar and Nancy Coffey
Eau Claire County
Principles and Lessons We Share…
Principle #1 Poverty
reduction is not a
– How can we engage
more people in
– Reach key
– Engage new
Augusta, WI 2008
The St. James, MN community photo taken at 6
a.m. on July 30, 2008. Part of the Horizons
Poverty Awareness for Community Engagement
• PACE - Cooperative Extension -
University of Wisconsin-Extension
Principle #2: Policy and programs are more effective and
better informed when citizens from all walks of life help create them
• The secret to success of the program, one St. James leader
said, has been its focus on a "grass roots, not top-down"
approach. Including community members young and old, and
from all walks of life, has been key as well.
• "It's about getting people together to solve their own issues,"
she says. "Once you do, magic happens."
Principle #3: Community resources should be made
known to all that could use them
• Resource directories, warm lines, 2-1-1
• Breaking down the barriers
• Staying informed
People will participate if their needs are accommodated,
they are acknowledged and listened to
• Encouragement and affirmation
• Break down the barriers (childcare, time
of day, stuffiness, asking for money, etc)
•Language /framework is
•Dialog tools: World Café,
sharing experiences, local
•One to one dialogue for
• What success have you had…
– Breaking down barriers?
– Building community resources?
– Getting people from all walks of life to work
Four Solutions for Communities
• Increasing awareness and discussion
• Expanding the number of residents in
the community helping people who
are struggling to make ends meet
• Mobilizing toward concrete actions to
• Creating policy change strategies to
Developing An Effective Plan
• What is the community ready for?
• What are the necessary steps?
• Who are the necessary partners?
•Barbara A. Plested
•Ruth W. Edwards
Visit their Web site at www.TriEthnicCenter.ColoState.EDU.
What Are the Necessary Steps?
• Logic Model--flexible
Committed people - unfocused
Get Others Involved and Synchronize Efforts!
Who Should We Get Involved And How?
• Power Mapping
• One on One Dialogue To Discover Self-
Interest and Passion
• People of Low Income
Results in Eau Claire Area
• 95% of the participants “felt their voice
was heard” during the summit process
• 89% indicated the summit worked to
engage them in impacting poverty
• Concrete tools developed to assist
• More depth and breadth of people
working on poverty reduction
• Blueprint and action steps developing
El Centro de Conexión de Chippewa
•One on ones
Welcome to Public Achievement