Bridges Out of Poverty Workshops Posted: February 28, 2014

Over the past few years OLHSA has been offering Bridges Out of Poverty community workshops. With these workshops, OLHSA hopes to reach human services staff members, social workers, lawyers, and others to give them a deeper understanding of poverty. Through the workshops, OLHSA hopes to create a cohesive approach to poverty education and services in our communities.

This past January, OLHSA hosted a one-day Bridges Out of Poverty workshop in Livingston County. 40 individuals attended the event and represented experts from the health and human service sectors. After being surveyed, 64 percent of attendees said that they would use the information taken from the workshop and use while decision making with clients and co-workers. 79 percent of attendees stated that they would share the information and knowledge they gained with others.

One participant stated that they would implement the ideas about poverty presented in the workshop during day-to-day operations with clients. Thanks to a better understanding of where their clients are coming from and why they make the decisions they do, the participant felt they have a better understanding of poverty and its effects on the community after attending the workshop.

OLHSA also successfully facilitated two client groups of Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World in Livingston County in 2013. Getting Ahead uses concepts from Bridges Out of Poverty and focuses on individuals in generational poverty.  The 21 week session provides individuals living in poverty with a way to examine the impact that poverty has on themselves, their families and their communities. The sessions provide a safe, agenda-free learning environment where adults can reflect on and examine their lives, investigate new information that is relevant to them, assess their own resources, make plans for their future, offer ideas for building a prosperous community and choose a team to help them fulfill their dreams. Five participants successfully completed the Getting Ahead program.

OLHSA hopes to continue engaging community members about the benefits of becoming a Bridges Out of Poverty informed community. Both the Bridges Out of Poverty workshops and Getting Ahead sessions benefit our clients and partners in discovering key ways to move from poverty to healthy, sustainable communities.   

To learn more about OLHSA’s Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead initiatives contact Jeff Duke at