Salvation Army Announces ‘Bridges Out of Poverty’ training

Major Ben Walters - Altus Salvation Army

Earlier in February, The Salvation Army in Altus launched a local initiative to alleviate poverty by hosting its first “Bridging” event as a part of a larger “Bridge the Gap” initiative across Oklahoma. Bridge the Gap creates community conversation around the issue of poverty, educates all economic cultures and encourages local collaboration in support of a program for low-income individuals. The initiative bridges various sectors of the community from government, education, corporate, to charity and faith based sectors of the community.

On Feb. 4, 55 people representing 10 sectors of the community, were in attendance for the “Community Conversation.” Organizations represented a variety of sectors including health care, business, social services, faith, legal, housing, education, civic, municipal, military, and others.

The Salvation Army in Altus, is pleased to announce they will be hosting a training session as a follow up to the “Bridging” event held Thursday. The training, called Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities, represents a powerful tool for change that reaches out to service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with the lives of people in poverty. The Salvation Army is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for the one-day training. They are providing a certified Bridges trainer and related training materials. Jackson County Health Department and Southwestern Youth Services, Inc., are collaborating with The Salvation Army at the local level. Southwest Technology Center is providing the meeting space.

The Bridges training includes case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions that organizations may implement to redesign programs to better serve people in poverty; analyze internal policies and procedures to identify client barriers; build skill sets for management or upgrade training for front-line staff; work more effectively with clients and improve program outcomes; and increase the likelihood of clients transitioning to self-sufficiency.

This event will be held at Southwest Technology Center in seminar rooms A & B from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on March 22. SWTC is located at 711 W. Tamarack Road in Altus.

The training includes techniques that can be applied in relationship building, mentoring and coaching

To register for the training go to: There are active “Bridge The Gap” initiatives in Bartlesville, Claremore, Enid, Grove, Lawton, Muskogee, Norman, Oklahoma City, Ponca City, Shawnee, Stillwater and Woodward.

The next stage is to form a local steering committee to continue community education, identify barriers to success and plan the “Getting Ahead” program.

The fourth stage is the “Getting Ahead” program. Weekly sessions facilitate a process for a person in poverty to investigate the impact poverty has had on their lives and surroundings, and to use this information to build personal resources for a better life and community. After completion of the program, a graduation ceremony and reception will be held.

The “Bridge The Gap” poverty initiative brings sectors together to build sustainability in all aspects of communities—education, business, health, criminal justice and more. By gaining an increased understanding of generational poverty, organizations and communities can develop effective strategies to help transition families to self-sufficiency.

Major Ben Walters

Altus Salvation Army

For more information contact Major Ben Walters at 580-482-8577.

For more information contact Major Ben Walters at 580-482-8577.

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