A few weeks ago I was fortunate to attend the Alliance for Children & Families Senior Leadership Conference in Savannah, GA. It was my first time attending, and I was humbled to learn about the Alliance and the impressive work they do, along with each of their member agencies. As much fun as the networking events were, the real purpose of the conference was, of course, to bring together human services organizations and provide them with community and tools to create high impact results across America. To that end, the conference brought together some amazing facilitators conducting thought-provoking workshops.
The opening general session “Poverty Is a Disease,” led by Marcella Wilson, Ph.D., President and CEO of Matrix Human Services in Detroit, was an especially powerful discussion. For instance, during her keynote Marcella discussed the current paradigm shift of referring to nonprofits working within this realm ofthe sector as “human serving organizations” instead of the more commonly used “human services organizations.” This term is active tense and certainly better communicates the continuous hard work done by agencies who seek to fight poverty in America. Here are some of my other key takeaways from that session:
- Since 2008, poverty has increased by 16 percent while the population growth has grown only by 3 percent. This increase in poverty is devastating to our communities but human-serving organization sare providing hope to those who need it most.
- The Transition to Success (TTS) Model is a proven system that uses existing funding streams and is scalable, sustainable and can be used across generations to fight poverty. This TTS system helps people meet their basic human needs, gain the education they need for employment and all the while encourages participants to volunteer or give back to society.
- More than 46.2 million (31 million children) live in poverty today, and we spend more than a trillion dollars in programs and education in our country to fight this disease. America ranks 34th out of 35 industrialized countries in child poverty.
Simply put, what our country is doing isn’t working. America has the most expensive and least efficient systems in the entire world. Marcella has introduced and implemented the TTS model in Detroit and is seeing great results in helping people break out of poverty and become thriving citizens. TTS is now being introduced around the country and can help make a huge difference in other areas where it is implemented.
Convergent serves the nonprofit industry and works with several human-serving agencies to garner the funding support they need to carry out their mission. A couple of our clients, like Rainbow Village and SafeHomes, have been very successful in helping women, children and families transition out of a life of poverty. If you would like additional information or have questions about how we can help your organization obtain the funding you need, please contact Communications Director Samantha Hardwick.