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Circles of Jackson County

Contact: Dawn Neatherly
Mailing Address: PO Box 501
Sylva, NC 28779
Phone Number: 828-342-4627
Secondary Phone Line: 828-433-4233
Email Address: info@circlesofjackson.org
Website Address: http://www.circlesofjacksoncounty.org/
Office Hours: 8:30am-3:30pm, Monday-Thursday
Directions: The meeting location is Love's Chapel United Methodist Church, at 41 Lovedale Rd, Sylva
Agency Description:  The mission of Circles of Jackson County Inc. is to provide the short- and long-term support that enables families currently living in poverty to move into financial sustainability through education, employment readiness assistance, and the creation of community support systems. The group also works to educate the community about poverty and reduce the barries to success for all persons. 

As of January 2014, there were more than 80 Circles groups nationwide. The Jackson County group started in 2014 and launched its first Circles in April 2015. 

According to DataUSA, 21.6% of the population of Jackson County lives below the poverty line. The mission at Circles of Jackson County is to provide the short- and long-term support that enables these families to move into financial sustainability. Circles meets weekly to provide educational opportunities and support. These meetings include a free meal and childcare. 

Circles' two-step process is a 21-month commitment. First, clients complete a 15-week class covering the personal, interpersonal, and financial tools necessary to move beyond poverty. Then they are paired with two trained volunteers, who meet with them weekly over the next 18 months. 

The group's most recent outcome data shows a 29% increase in average monthly income, a 19% increase in specialized training or higher education, and a 30% increase in safe housing/reliable transportation after 18 months in the program.
Training: Training will be provided as needed.
Time Commitment: Time commitment ranges from 2 hours per week to full internships.
Skills, Experience, and
Special Requirements:
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
A background check is required (Circles will pay for this)
Volunteer Involvement: Possibilities include setting up and cleaning up for weekly meetings, helping with childcare, running errands, filing paperwork, and guided social interaction with clients.
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