Tag Archives: Cycle of poverty

Poverty Ministry shifts toward Holistic Approach

NewpicofDottieDottie Achmoody
Chief Executive Officer

Story by Connie Collins courtesy of the Akronist

This is how Dottie Achmoody describes the current state of OPEN M. For most of its 46-year history, the ministry has provided free food and medical care to the needy, along with many other critical programs.

CEO Achmoody described how post-recession funding has caused the organization to take a critical look at its services, which recently expanded to include a more holistic approach to the problems of poverty. The goal is to establish relationships with people in situational or generational poverty, helping them move beyond the need for emergency help by building the social networks and self-confidence needed to achieve independence.

Achmoody explained that donors want to see more permanent solutions for the community. OPEN M is hoping to meet these expectations by working to prioritize education and preventative measures. This includes mentoring adults into secure employment.

These efforts align with Achmoody’s  own resolve to focus the organization’s efforts on ending the cycle of poverty. As part of this, OPEN M is implementing a new project, the Community Works Connection (CWC). This initiative will be modeled after the highly successful program Cincinnati Works, which offers access to area employers while providing comprehensive support services to those trying to break their cycle of poverty.

bobtitusBob Titus, project manager for the
Community Works Connection,
will help Open M to reach
Akron’s impoverished residents
in through a more holistic approach.

A key component to the success of this venture will be it’s leadership. Achmoody chose Bob Titus for the job because of his experience in staffing and volunteer work with the homeless in Akron. But there was an even more crucial component for OPEN M’s leader when she selected Titus for the role.

“I loved his heart and enthusiasm,” Achmoody said.

Titus will serve as Project Manager for CWC. In this role, he will be focused on increasing long-term support for individuals seeking to emerge from poverty. The CWC program will provide a needed next step for OPEN M’s already established programs, such as Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead. These existing programs aim to link resources and build support among those suffering from poverty. Participants are invited to reflect on their lives and plan for their and their families’ futures.

For more information about CWC, or to contact the program’s leadership, please visit the group’s Web site

Inner City Ministry Makes Courageous Moves to Improve Neighborhood Part One







By: Katie Sobiech

How many people do you know who would leave their comfortable lifestyle, steady job and white picket fence neighborhood to move into, arguably, one of the most dangerous areas in Akron?

A place many wouldn’t even prefer to drive through, let alone live in?

Not many, or even one, right?

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Coming Full Circle out of
Poverty through the Circles Campaign: 
It Takes a Community to 
Break through Poverty Part Two – 2013-01-05

By Katie Sobiech

The Circles Campaign is set to start up on January 9th, 2013 in Akron – bringing this endeavor to Summit County for the first time.

Those of middle class or wealth that would like to be of support, not financially, but through relationship and positive reinforcement, are encouraged to become a part of this initiative. Those in poverty who have graduated “Getting Ahead” are also encouraged to join, as it is the next step in their journey towards financial freedom.

The Circles Campaign is all about putting action behind the plan that those in poverty created during their Getting Ahead classes. Allies of wealth or middle class will be there to help guide them along the way.

This campaign is currently in about 7 other communities in Ohio and 77 communities throughout the U.S.

Others in the community have been involved in the overall “Bridges out of Poverty” efforts, including OPEN M and the Harvest Home.

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Coming Full Circle out of Poverty through the Circles Campaign: 
It Takes a Community to Break through Poverty – 2012-12-30

Circles Campaign

By Katie Sobiech

Recently noticed by CNN and CBS, the Circles Campaign (CC) formed to break the cycle of poverty currently exists in 70 communities and 24 states throughout the U.S.

It all began at “Move the Mountain Leadership Center” in New Mexico as a conversation between welfare recipients and social workers. There they discussed ways to address poverty, build relationships and connect people to services and resources.

Initial results from this campaign showed that for every $1 spent on the program, $2 in welfare and food stamp subsidies were returned to the state, and $4 to the community as new earned income (www.circlescampaign.org).

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