Circles of Support LogoCommunity Engagement Strategy

Our strategy is simple: We “intentionally” build relationships where individuals work together towards a shared goal and vision to develop a plan of action.


Top: Circles of Support Feelin' Groovy summer picnic with a ’70s theme. Bottom, left to right: Pucks Against Poverty engages the community through puck painting, community presentations, and service projects; many children are engaged in Community Action Duluth activities.

The Circles of Support community engagement strategy has engaged 2000 community members (over the past three years) through collaborative cross-cultural workshops, social class, race awareness forums and poverty education presentations. This strategy utilizes monthly meetings and ongoing community outreach to increase cross-cultural interaction, reduce social isolation of people in poverty, and discover solutions to combat poverty. The broad objective is to engage the wider community in eliminating barriers that keep poverty in place.

Examples of progress:  “We make our community better.”

  • We host monthly "Community Forums" called Big View that focus on 8 priorities to address community concerns.
  • We host quarterly “Solutions to Poverty” forums, where graduates from the Getting Ahead classes present ideas about reducing barriers to getting out of poverty to an audience of community leaders and interested people.
  • We work together weekly to build community leadership, identify priorities and work toward community change.
  • We talk about racism and classism to help people understand that race and class are social constructs that keep people apart.
  • We created Bridge of Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), a committee of people from diverse income backgrounds, to raise money to assist Circles of Support participants as they gain employment and transition off public assistance.
  • We launched Pucks Against Poverty, a Circles of Support community engagement strategy, to highlight concerns of the working poor in Duluth.
  • We advocate for social change, economic justice and human rights of people who struggle, to organize and take action.
  • We send out monthly e-newsletters to program participants and others interested in our work. We love our Facebook. We value people. We appreciate community. We get things DONE!