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FAQs: Bridges to Progress
Why is the City of Lynchburg focused on poverty within the community?
The City of Lynchburg recognizes the plight of intergenerational poverty in our locality and the negative effect poverty has on the progress of our community. City Council identified poverty as a priority focus in 2016 and the Bridges to Progress initiative is focused on community awareness and citizen uplift.
What is the poverty rate for Lynchburg?
As of 2017, the federal poverty line for a family of two is $16,020. The City of Lynchburg currently has a poverty rate of 23.1% with a median income, per household, of $39,589 which is 9.6% higher than the national poverty rate average compared to:
- Charlottesville with a poverty rate of 20.7% and a median income of $49,775
- Roanoke with a poverty rate of 21.3 and a median income of $39,930
- Portsmouth with a poverty rate of 18.6% and a median income of $45,676
Can anyone be involved in the city initiative?
Yes, with the many avenues for service and assistance available in Lynchburg, the City of Lynchburg wants all citizens to thrive in their household and the community. Volunteers are needed throughout our city. Job creation, mentoring, financial donations, and class facilitation are a few examples.
How will households be chosen for the initiative?
The City will focus on collaboration between agencies including, but not limited to Workforce Development, Goodwill, HumanKind, Park View Mission, The Department of Human Services (Juvenile Services and Social Services), Horizon Behavioral Health and other local non-profits, as initial contacts for referral. Community organizations will be vital to the creation of strategic action plans for use throughout the process of moving households out of poverty and to facilitate the necessary steps in helping households succeed.
How do citizens qualify for assistance with this initiative?
The City initiative of Bridges to Progress is based on a concept of working together as a community. While the ultimate goal is to reduce the City’s poverty rate by facilitating the movement of persons out of poverty, there must be a starting point. For this one tool in the comprehensive toolbox, a cohort of households will be identified from collaborating agencies. Those citizens identified as “willing, able, hopeful, and motivated” are key factors in the City’s poverty reduction strategy. Along with this first-tier plan, increased participation of partner agencies, individuals and organizations will increase local awareness of the City’s poverty issues and help citizens create sustainable pathways out of poverty.
Does my income need to be below the poverty line threshold?
Yes, the initial focus is to move households out of poverty to reduce the City’s poverty rate.
How will you know if I receive services from the Department of Social Services or Humankind?
Teams are developing the appropriate communication methods to effectively evaluate and measure outcomes from these agencies as they collaborate on service delivery.
I am willing and able but not involved with a partner agency, how may I be considered for assistance?
Connections within the City Manager’s Office, organizations such as Interfaith Outreach, Horizon Behavioral Services, calling 2-1-1, etc. will assist you in addressing your specific need. Coordination of local agencies and outreach services are ongoing.
What is the course that an individual can take to be involved in helping to facilitate or lift persons out of poverty and towards progression?
Begin with connecting with the City’s Bridges to Progress database to determine your area of interest related to this City initiative. (Include link) Next, assess your immediate circle of influence and work to help those who may need direction in developing a sustainable pathway.
If I have a job and do not receive any special services from the government, but I struggle with some of the targeted areas, am I considered in this initiative? How do I get the assistance that I need?
The endorsed plan from City Council is not a program or service. However, linkage to agencies and individuals with expertise in your area of need may be identified through Human Services, dialing 2-1-1, or contacting the City leaders listed below for assistance. Also, if you have any creative or innovative ideas, the City would like to know about them so that we may evaluate new options. Ideally, we would like to have community-based options for closing this gap in service provision.