A national workshop that trains people to assist families living in poverty in becoming self-supporting will be hosted by Capital City Circles Tuesday through Friday at Western Nevada College.
The National Circles Campaign Hands-On Training workshop will include education for coordinators and coaches from around the country. They will meet in small training groups, and there will be a poverty-simulation workshop Wednesday.
The initiative is aimed at helping families living in poverty reach the goal of financial independence through education and supportive friendships with middle-class residents. This is achieved through a 20-week getting-ahead workshop and an alignment with three to five allies (or volunteers). The group meets once or twice a month to help develop the dreams, plans and goals for achieving economic self-sufficiency.
“The program has been a great resource for many Carson families and really has been the springboard to help families to self-sufficiency,” said WNC counselor J.W. Lazzari, who has been on the Capital City Circles board of directors since 2009.
He pointed to success stories of a nearly homeless mother of seven children who became a certified nurse assistant, and a single mother of two who has improved her budgeting and money-management skills to better care for her family.
Some of the circle leaders have become students at WNC, Lazzari said.
“The Circles program has helped give some of these individuals the courage to go to college and the support to become successful,” he said.