New Mexico People Places and Ideas
11:52 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Will the poor always be with us?

Interview with Scott Miller.

Fri. 11/1 8a: Albuquerque based Scott Miller, of Circles USA (formerly, “Move the Mountain”), says no, and believes we can totally end poverty by simply focusing on one family at a time. Absurd, you might say, but Miller counters that this standard reaction is part of the reason the US have had so little success in alleviating poverty.

We (meaning anti-poverty programs and people in and out of poverty) have “normalized” and accepted poverty instead of working to eradicate it. Instead what Circles does is associate low-income people (called circle leaders) with a community organization, which in turn builds a coalition of private, and public service groups.  These groups then target each circle leaders’ specific needs and issues. To do this, 25 circle leaders are each paired with 2-4 middle-income volunteers who support that leaders’ efforts, conduct weekly meetings with all 25 circle leaders, and link circle families to education, training and jobs.

Can such a program actually lift people out of poverty? Miller says yes and that he has proof.  

Please join host Stephen Spitz and Circles founder Scott Miller to learn more about the program and what the results have been. Produced with the assistance of Joe Green.