aha! Process, Transition to Success partnership enhances ‘institutional lens’

The Bridges Out of Poverty “triple lens” approach frames poverty through the lenses of individuals, institutions, and the community. To operationalize the institutional lens of the Bridges model, aha! Process is now partnering with Dr. Marcella Wilson and her Transition to Success (TTS) model.

TTS addresses poverty as a treatable condition, not a character flaw. Marcella Wilson, PhD, Matrix Human Services president and CEO, designed TTS as a systematic approach to addressing the social determinants and impacts of poverty.

TTS is a scalable, sustainable, and measurable collective impact business model that integrates treatment for poverty across healthcare, human services, education, faith-based organizations, and government programs. We believe those working in social service agencies will make greater gains in their work using TTS if they first participate in a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop, which changes mindsets about poverty and provides a common language for discussing the strengths and needs of those making the transition out of poverty.

Offering the option of the Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World curriculum will then strengthen the work of the TTS model and increase the positive outcomes for both clients and agencies. As institutions see the improvements that are possible when Getting Ahead groups support clients as part of a larger TTS plan, we’re confident that the TTS model will increase the impact on poverty by influencing the institutions that serve the poor.

Recognizing the focus on daily survival in generational poverty, TTS connects people in poverty with resources for long-term planning. TTS trains direct care staff to work with clients to define a CARE (Coordinating All Resources Effectively) plan and a “Map of My Dreams.” The CARE plan addresses the immediate basic needs of food, healthcare, and shelter, while the “Map of My Dreams” plots long-term goals leading to financial stability and improved health. TTS coordinates care for basic needs, literacy, getting an education (including GED and higher education support for parents), financial literacy, and volunteerism—all key components for self-sufficiency.

First the model provides for basic needs—food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare—by serving as the “connective tissue” between clients and institutions that meet those needs. Once basic needs are met, TTS helps people find a job that pays at least minimum wage. Educational opportunities follow, from reading lessons to GED preparation, financial literacy classes, and training for skilled employment that provides a living wage. Volunteerism is a key part of the model, and research shows that people who volunteer do better in other areas regardless of race, age, or economic status.

aha! Process will offer Bridges Out of Poverty workshops in conjunction with Dr. Wilson’s TTS trainings and provide support for the formation of Getting Ahead groups as part of the clients’ CARE plans. We look forward to exciting outcomes in institutions nationwide with the implementation of the new model. Click here to learn more about TTS and Matrix Health. For more on aha! Process’s collaboration with TTS, please contact Lynn Jackson, Bridges engagement manager.