Through the Northwest Project, effective strategies for lifting families out of poverty have proven scalable and replicable in other communities. In response to this change in geography, the Northwest Project has been rebranded as RISE (Reaching Independence through Support and Education). Programming has expanded into other communities. Visit the Drew Lewis Foundation for more information on communities participating in RISE.
These 10 assets have been identified as necessary for economic mobility, sustainability, and self-sufficiency:
- Affordable housing (housing representing no more than 30% of one’s total monthly budget)
- Transportation (members have reliable transportation)
- Quality childcare (children are enrolled in quality child care, before-school, or after-school programming as needed for children over two years old)
- Parenting classes (where members have not participated in other similar classes for 3 years)
- Resolution of criminal background (where applicable)
- Accountability (such as attending required program and community resource meetings and engaging consistently in the program)
- Job training
- Taking advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (attainment of EITC benefit & application of benefit to personal plan where applicable)
- Monthly budget management (adhering to a budget, reducing debt and working on a credit score of 650)
- Health and wellness (including access to healthcare and insurance)
RISE also tracks additional data points that help determine self-sufficiency, including:
- Mental health access or needs
- Relative level of support a household may have within their social networks
- Food security
- Home safety
- Relative integration or connection to community resources
The MSU/Drew Lewis Foundation/Drury partnership also includes a number of community agencies that provide resources related to these pivotal assets. For a full list of these partners, visit the Drew Lewis Foundation.
Families interested in learning more about RISE can contact the Drew Lewis Foundation at The Fairbanks at (417) 720-1890.
The Drew Lewis Foundation and RISE welcome support in many forms to help expand programming and its reach. If you have interest in supporting this program and the work it is committed to, visit the Drew Lewis Foundation.