(603) 882-3616

Circles Greater Nashua

Circles is a long-term approach to ending poverty permanently in our community. Each week, Nashua area individuals with low income meet with community volunteers to share a meal and work on their educational and economic goals. Over time, incomes improve, debt and public assistance decrease, and useful relationships are built

Circles is a nationally known, proven and innovative strategy of connecting people across socioeconomic and cultural lines to support individuals and families out of poverty. We believe the responsibility for poverty and prosperity rests with both individuals and the larger community. The mission of Circles Greater Nashua is to inspire and equip individuals, families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive. We believe no one should live in poverty, and given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved!

How Circles Works

Circles Greater Nashua works with individuals and families with low income who are interested in and motivated to become economically self-sufficient by offering them the skills and support to become a Circle Leader. Prospective Circle Leaders attend a weekly evening session for 12-weeks to create their own individualized economic stability plans. They begin by reconnecting to their dreams for their future and the future of their families. 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.

Middle and upper income community volunteers are trained as Allies who support Circle Leaders to achieve their goals. Following the SMART training, each circle leader chooses two trained Allies to meet with them on an ongoing basis to communicate their individual goals and to exchange information and strategies for achieving their goals to become permanently, financially stable.

Circles takes place on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 8pm. Each evening begins with a community meal, prepared by volunteers for the Circle Leaders, children, Allies, staff and other volunteers. Two to three weeks a month Circle Leaders then meet in separate small groups with their Allies to work on goals. At the same time, children of adults in the program meet in nearby rooms to work on the same skills their parents are learning by participating in fun, age-appropriate educational activities. Also, groups of volunteers known as Resource Teams meet to ensure that individual Circle members have access to the information and support they need from the larger community. Resource Teams work on things like gathering information on educational opportunities and forming relationships with service providers, educators, businesses and employers throughout the community.

One Tuesday evening each month following the community dinner, Circle Leaders, Allies, staff, and other volunteers meet to focus on The Big View. This is a group discussion where Circle Leaders share their experiences with the daily issues they face that prevent them from achieving their goals for self-sufficiency. Community leaders, policy makers and other interested folks are invited to these meetings to learn first-hand how the regulations and policies in place create barriers known as Cliff Effects by cutting off subsidies for essential needs like childcare assistance and food stamps before individuals and families have achieved a sustainable income (minimum 200% FPL). The intention is for policy makers to see the benefits of providing a fair, pro-rated exit plan for all subsidy programs to give families the chance to achieve an income that allows them to afford to pay for their health insurance, childcare, etc. before losing all financial assistance.

Benefits in Joining a Circles Community

Circle Leaders will develop skills that help build confidence and leadership ability; to manage money and time more efficiently; to effectively communicate ideas and needs in order to achieve goals, and receive support and useful ideas from a caring community of Allies, volunteers and staff. Circles participants have the unique opportunity to build meaningful relationships that often lead to lifelong friendships.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a Circles Leader?
To become a Circle Leader, contact Laurie Skibba to request an application.
How do I become a Circle Ally or other volunteer?
To become a Circles’ Ally or other volunteer, call or email Laurie Skibba for information.

Contact Information

Laurie Skibba, Chapter Coordinator
Circles Greater Nashua
154 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060

For more information, visit http://www.circlesgn.org and http://www.circlesusa.org.

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45 High Street, Nashua, NH 03060
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