Economic Mobility Initiative

Moving up the Ladder: The Economic Mobility Initiative

Poverty is among the defining issues of our time. About 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, a standard that has been shown to underestimate the needs of families. In fact, research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice the poverty threshold level to cover basic expenses. By this standard, 43% of children live in low-income families (National Center for Children in Poverty). In California, about 26% of children live in food insecure homes—in many rural and frontier California counties, that figure spikes to more than 30%.

But being poor is about more than just finances. A growing body of research demonstrates that the cycle of poverty has psychological–and physiological ramifications. Researchers are delving ever deeper into how the biological foundations of poverty link to its potentially negative impact from the pre-natal period through teenage years and, perhaps, throughout the lifespan. The good news is that your organization, coalition or directed foundation investments can mitigate the effects of poverty in your community.

The Strategies Center launched the Economic Mobility Initiative to disseminate a research-informed series of program elements that can moderate the effects of poverty and begin to move families and their children “up the ladder.” The Strategies Center facilitates this Initiative by:

  • Working with stakeholders and decision-makers to ensure commitment and support for economic mobility and mentoring efforts
  • Providing learning and development opportunities to improve knowledge, build skills, and advance the use of brief screening instruments that support implementation and services
  • Analyzing community and family demographics to inform learning about how best to serve your clients in a culturally responsive manner
  • Facilitating and providing support throughout implementation of 4-6 research-informed elements of tested and proven upward mobility efforts
  • Defining, measuring, and reporting the success of your economic mobility efforts
  • Providing tools and materials sufficient to ensure success after the Strategies Center support concludes, and standing by to problem-solve and facilitate adaptation to new circumstances and demands as they arise.

Contact us to learn more about bringing the Economic Mobility Initiative to your community.