Bridges Rockford Our Bridges Out of Poverty Rockford Region initiative addresses the need for a comprehensive, community-wide approach to reducing poverty by implementing a program that will help our residents in poverty move to self-sufficiency. Bridges brings people from all sectors and economic classes together to improve job retention rates, build resources, improve outcomes, and support those who are moving out of poverty. 23% of our Residents Under the Age of 18 Are in Poverty23% of Households in Winnebago County Earn Above the Poverty Level, but not Enough to Afford Bare-Bones Household Budgets These are unacceptable realities in our community that our Bridges Out of Poverty Rockford Region project works to change. By providing a way for those experiencing poverty to build their resources and become self-sufficient we can greatly impact the generational poverty cycle. We are working to meaningfully help our under resourced neighbors build life stability and create true life transformation. One of the ways we accomplish this is through our Bridges Out of Poverty program. Since launching the program, we have graduated 96 community members from our Getting Ahead classes, providing them with the ability to build their resources and create plans toward self-sufficiency. This new approach is yielding results: 34% of our graduates report an increase in income 43% reported an increase in education 32% realized a decrease in debt and 13% noted a decrease in the need for state or federal benefits. The best result is that the graduates have hope for their future!