Bridges Rockford The Bridges to Prosperity 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. 32.8% of our Residents Under the Age of 18 Are in Poverty (US Census Bureau)27% of Households in Winnebago County Earn Above the Poverty Level, but not Enough to Afford Bare-Bones Household Budgets (United Way of IL ALICE Report) These are unacceptable realities in our community that our Bridges to Prosperity Rockford Region project works to change. Reducing poverty is not something that any government, institution or group of agencies can accomplish on their own. Ultimately, poverty reduction is the whole community’s responsibility. Collective Impact brings people together in a structured way to achieve social change. We are building a cross-sector team that can plan, advocate for and implement a set of systems changes focused on bringing all members of our community out of poverty and creating more equitable results. Bringing about systemic change to boost upward mobility is no simple task and large-scale change cannot be made by government alone. People striving to achieve upward mobility face a web of interconnected barriers that often impede or undermine their best efforts. Because barriers to mobility are upheld by our current systems and structures, removing these barriers will require both systems change and an equitable approach to support that gets it to those most in need. Our goal is to foster collaborative partnerships throughout the community, addressing poverty. There are multiple and complex causes of poverty, as well as strategies to combat it.