Circles New Mexico is a 501-c-3 national nonprofit headquartered in Albuquerque, NM. Scott C. Miller, CEO of Move the Mountain is the founder of Circles®.
Circles New Mexico is the most recent addition to the 24 state national campaign to end poverty.
We are part of a movement and believe that by building relationships across class lines we can make a shift in the way our community thinks about poverty: there IS a solution to poverty in our country. The problem is NOT too big to solve.
The Circles® model matches volunteers (Allies) with low-income families to expand their resources for greater networks into the community to reach economic stability. Everyone in the Circle works together and in doing so, identifies and dismantles the systemic barriers that keep people stuck in poverty.
This strategy has made great strides in 62 communities around the country. Early results demonstrate that for every $1 spent on the Circles, $2 in welfare and food stamp subsidies are returned to the state, and $4 to the community as new earned income.
We’re just getting started here in New Mexico.
Circles New Mexico benefits from the permanent presence of the CEO of Move the Mountain Leadership, Inc. (MTM) and founder of Circles, Scott Miller who moved to Albuquerque a few years ago to be closer to family.
Albuquerque has become the headquarters for a national network of centers currently being established by MTM. This network of 12 regional centers is charged with inspiring and equipping communities to increase their capacity to end poverty. A world-class team of experts in health, education, human services, economic development, and philanthropy will focus on high-impact strategies for a viable economic future for New Mexico and the nation as a whole.
This Fall, a pilot is being launched in Albuquerque’s South Valley in partnership with the South Valley Economic Development Center and several other community-based organizations. The first project includes an initial 18 families. They will participate in a 9 week Leadership training and upon graduation be matched with 2 – 4 Allies in early 2012.
We project that Circles New Mexico will support almost 32,000 NM families within a decade:
Circles® is a transformational approach that partners volunteers and community leaders with families wanting to make the journey out of poverty. Operating in communities around the country, each Circles® initiative consists of families working to get out of poverty and several middle and upper income Allies who befriend them and lend support. The family is the Circle Leader, setting direction for activities. With the help and friendship of their allies, each family sets and achieves goals unique to their own needs.
Rather than targeting a surface need of at-risk communities such as housing or food provision, Circles® seeks to expand social capital by fostering relationships across racial and economic lines. It engages the community as a whole and encourages growth from people of all financial classes. Circles® is designed to assist families in creating their own personal paths out of poverty while at the same time expanding opportunities, connections and eliminating barriers in the community that make it difficult for families to thrive.
History of Circles
MTM Leadership Center launched Circles® in January of 2007 after having evolved for ten years from its roots as a discussion group between welfare recipients and social workers to its current form. Early results demonstrate that for every $1 spent on the program, $2 in welfare and food stamp subsidies was returned to the state, and $4 to the community as new earned income.
Who We Are
Circles® currently has 64 member communities across 24 states and growing. Scott Miller from Albuquerque, NM is the founder of Circles® and Think Tank, Inc. from Greater Dayton, OH leads the national training center. The mission of Circles® is to empower people from every economic class to solve poverty in their communities through individual transformation and community change.