The Bridges Out of Poverty initiative in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, continues to build momentum. It was the subject of a research study conducted by Kate Uhler, and the community’s Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World programs have garnered media attention as well.
As detailed in this article from Chester County Press, the Kennett Area Community Service building has become the site for Getting Ahead groups to investigate the experience of poverty and build resources that will help them make the transition to a more stable life.
According to KACS Executive Director Melanie Weiler, the Getting Ahead investigators are the leaders of the experience. “It’s a process of self-discovery…and we just walk along with them,” Weiler says. “We are not here to tell them how to improve their quality of life.”
Uhler’s study is not the only place where the positive results of Getting Ahead have been quantified. In 2015, Elizabeth Wahler of Indiana University produced “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World: Program Evaluation Results.” She writes, “The results of this evaluation demonstrate that Getting Ahead, when used according to the model, appears to be effective with investigators who have multiple and complex barriers to economic mobility and stability.”
Data collected by the CharityTracker app have resulted in the most recent report on Getting Ahead results. An impressive 62% of Getting Ahead graduates reduced their use of benefits, 74% reduced their total debt, and 38% increased their monthly income.
If you’re interested, check out our interactive map to find a Getting Ahead group in your area. Alternatively, if you want to be certified to facilitate Getting Ahead groups, consider joining us for a combined trainer certification.