Moffat County United Way engages community in Bridges Out of Poverty | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County United Way engages community in Bridges Out of Poverty

Volunteers wanted to expand social program

Terie Dreussi-Smith discusses differences in language retention for children in different economic brackets during a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop Thursday at the Center of Craig. The event was held for community members in Craig and Moffat County to learn more about the program's efforts to engage those in poverty with classes and other efforts.

The key to understanding the struggles others may have in life is to learn more about it.

A crowd of more than 60 attended a workshop for Bridges Out of Poverty, hosted by Moffat County United Way, Thursday at the Center of Craig.

The purpose of the meeting was for people of all walks of life to get an idea of the Bridges framework, which provides classes for those experiencing financial and social strife.

"It's not about helping people, it's about engaging people," said guest speaker Terie Dreussi-Smith, a national consultant for Bridges Out of Poverty.

Dreussi-Smith's presentation discussed the kinds of tactics that can be employed to "shift paradigms" and prevent those in poverty from being marginalized from their communities.

"One thing that impressed me was that there was a cross-section of people and different hierarchies in the community here today," she said, stating that it takes all kinds of people to improve society.

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Among those present was business owner and City Councilor John Ponikvar.

"I think this is a really important conversation for the community to have," he said. "As an employer, I think this is really valuable training."

United Way features classes in the spring and fall entitled, "Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin' By World," and part of aiding those who graduate from the program is knowing what they've learned to become self-sufficient as well as what they've gone through in life, said United Way Director Amanda Arnold.

Applications for the class will be accepted throughout the summer for the September session. United Way is also seeking community volunteers to work with families who enroll in the program.

"The transition out of poverty can be a lengthy process, so we need to wrap our support around them," Arnold said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

— For more information on Moffat County United Way’s Bridges Out of Poverty program, call 970-824-6222.

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