Coming Together to Get Ahead

Program Overview A mentoring program combined with Bridges Out of Poverty’s well-established “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World”  workshop.  A small group of 8-12 “investigators” with three facilitators (including a program graduate) examine their experience and resources and those of their community, and develop personal plans to move to greater self-sufficiency over 18 weekly sessions.  Graduates are assigned mentors, who serve as a long term friend and connector to community resources, adding to the graduates’ social capital.

Community Collaboration – The program is sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul with community participation and support.  Individuals from more than 30 area churches and social service organizations have attended Bridges Out of Poverty education workshops.  Participation can take multiple forms:

  • Serve as mentors for Getting Ahead graduates
  • Serve as an ad-hoc skill coach to graduates
  • Refer candidates to the program
  • Provide program funding
  • Serve as Getting Ahead class Facilitators
  • Provide meals for the weekly Getting Ahead sessions
  • Offer resource-building programs to graduates
  • Participate in program steering committee and working teams

Education & Training – We provide training in Bridges Out of Poverty constructs, and for mentors and Getting Ahead facilitators. Contact us at or 815-302-5583 to learn more.

Funding – primary funding is by the Society of St Vincent de Paul.  We also appreciate grants and donations from vendors and other community organizations.