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Who is CoActive Connections?

We are a nonprofit organization based in Oregon, raising awareness of the complex issues surrounding poverty and fostering equality through education and collaboration.
by

Lori Beamer

on 16 May 2016

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Transcript of Who is CoActive Connections?

Vision
About Us
What we do:
The Need
Our Services
"Without knowledge of what is affecting people, we can't change the realities."
Poverty Awareness Training
Community Action Poverty Simulation
Who do we train?
What is Poverty Awareness Training?
"I have worked in Community Corrections for over 21 years now, and thought I knew about most of the problems homelessness creates for our already challenged population. I found I really had no idea of the day to day difficulties...I was not expecting the evening to be so impactful, but quickly realized it has the potential to change lives. It certainly changed mine."
"<Poverty Awareness Training> demonstrated just how much stigma is attached to poverty in our culture."
"Loved the interaction as groups to show how everyone comes from different perspectives in life."
69% plan to apply the learned principles to everyday interactions with people experiencing poverty.
54% plan to advocate to improve the lives of people experiencing poverty.
40% plan to volunteer at a local organization that works with people experiencing poverty.
"This training is important for everyone because it shows a small look into the life of poverty, it helps give them more compassion in working with people in that situation."
"When more people become aware - more will find ways to help solve the problem."
No one will be treated differently because of their economic status.
-Training Participant
We EDUCATE and we ADVOCATE.
Contact:
(971) 599-3093
info@coactiveconnections.net
P.O. Box 2094
Salem, OR 97308

http://coactiveconnections.net
"I will continue to advocate, hear, fight for the people I work with."
Poverty Awareness Training
Develop tools and strategies to work toward your self-defined goals regarding poverty and cultural competency.
Training is customized to meet your organization's objectives. Some examples of training outcomes include:
During the simulation, you play the role of someone experiencing poverty.
You navigate the poverty experience with other participants as family members, using whatever resources you have to pay your rent and utilities, eat, work, go to school, and seek community resources.
Geared toward groups who want a hands-on experience to understanding the realities of poverty.
After the simulation, you will participate in a debrief exercise, hearing other experiences and learning about local efforts to empower the lives of people experiencing poverty.
What is the
Community Action Poverty Simulation?
Simulation participants take ACTION.
100% of participants were satisfied with the simulation.
"Great changes come first from education. This is a powerful educational tool."
We empower by giving voice to people experiencing poverty through focus groups and interviews.
by Poverty Awareness Training participants.
Testimonials
Advocate
What do I get out of training?
Community Action Poverty Simulation
While the simulation includes role playing, play money, and even props...participants quickly learn that it's not a game for our real neighbors experiencing poverty.
Why participate?
Testimonials
by Community Action Poverty Simulation participants.
Learn More About Us:
96% of our training participants state that there is a need for education on the realities of poverty.
Organizations, Groups, Volunteers
Businesses
Government Entities
Groups interested in cultural competency & diversity training
Healthcare Organizations
Service Providers, Educators
We share their voices in our training, multimedia, events, outreach materials, public interviews/panels, and social networks.
Our volunteers currently experiencing poverty share that they have new hope knowing their voices are being heard. They also feel supported.
We EDUCATE and ADVOCATE.
We find that poverty-reduction strategies often don't include the voices of people they are affecting. As a result, we work hard to:
Integrate individual voices into our training.
Bring individual voices to the table.
Share authentic stories and perspectives of the poverty experience.
-Poverty Awareness Training Participant
Increase level of trust with your clients and community members.
Improve overall job satisfaction.
Why EDUCATE and ADVOCATE?
With more people experiencing poverty, and in different ways, it is imperative to improve cultural competency to understand the complex nature of the poverty experience.
“We always envisioned ourselves to be very sensitive to our client needs, but there’s nothing like truly walking in another persons’ shoes to deeply appreciate what it’s like to live in poverty. I’ve seen a greater degree of compassion and empathy in our staff, and even more customer engagement.”
Poverty Impacts Our Community
We also educate and advocate to reduce the stigma that surrounds poverty.
17% of residents live in poverty.
A family of 4 is considered living in poverty if they make less than $24,300/year.
Higher job satisfaction can result from cultural competency.
However...
What is poverty, anyway?
United States Census Bureau (2014 ACS 1-Year Estimate)
In Oregon:
More than 1 in 5 children (22%) live below the poverty line.
Could you make it on that?
Research shows that more than 1 out of 3 households (38%) struggled to meet their basic needs, like shelter and food.
Why?
Engagement
Miscommunication
Time management
Effective relationships
(on the impact of the Community Action Poverty Simulation)
-Brenda Johnson, CEO of La Clinica
We EDUCATE and ADVOCATE.
Groups interested in C.E.U. opportunities
Hear authentic storytelling of real poverty experiences from our community and staff.
Receive Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.'s).
Meet your organization's diversity and cultural competency training requirements.
Customize and accomplish training objectives to meet your organization's needs.
Create a customized action plan to address your organizational goals related to poverty.
Understand the types and characteristics of poverty and build strategies for working with each.
Explore demographics, trends, and assumptions about the local community.
Identify resources and consider limitations and barriers to working or communicating with individuals living in poverty.
Explore current and potential organizational strategies related to supporting individuals and families experiencing poverty.
"Cultural Competence refers to the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, religions, genders, sexual orientation and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the worth of individuals, families and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each."
"Operationally defined, cultural competence is the integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices, and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services, thereby producing better outcomes."
What is cultural competency?
-Oregon Health Authority
(http://www.oregon.gov/oha/oei/diversity/pages/definitions.aspx)
You get a lot of dirty looks when people realize you are homeless; like you are a disease...The stereotypes aren't always true, but they don't give you a chance to prove it.
(CaC volunteer experiencing poverty)
Our volunteers experiencing poverty often share how they are treated differently and stereotyped because of their economic status.
-Kay
Bring poverty awareness education to your organization!
We use interactive activities to educate about poverty. During training, you will:
These voices and stories are contributed by our volunteers, who have a wide range of poverty experiences.
Bring dignity and respect to people experiencing poverty.
We educate and advocate to:
Communication
Through improved cultural competency, services and outcomes can be improved for both your organization and the people you interact with.
How?
Enhancing cultural competency can improve:
Knowledge
Empathy
Trust
Enhance knowledge of the poverty experience to reduce the impact of stigma associated with it.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
United Way ALICE Report - Pacific Northwest (2015). Accessed Online: http://www.unitedwayalice.org/documents/15UW%20ALICE%20Report_PNW_Lowres_1.12.16.pdf
We train groups and organizations about poverty.
Why?
To improve services and outcomes for people experiencing poverty.
In a nutshell:
Why?
Low wage jobs dominate the local economy.
Basic cost of living is high.
Jobs are not located near affordable housing.
Public and private assistance helps, but doesn't achieve financial sustainability.
-Training Participant
Our Services
We EDUCATE and we ADVOCATE.
We Train
We Advocate
We have 3 training options to choose from (more to come!):
Understanding Poverty
Poverty Simulation
Addressing Poverty
Organizations, Groups, Volunteers
Businesses
Government Entities
Groups interested in cultural competency & diversity training
Healthcare Organizations
Service Providers
Who do we train?
Educators
Understanding Poverty
Learn about com­mon poverty myths and under­stand the real­i­ties that some­one faces when expe­ri­enc­ing poverty.
Explore bar­ri­ers and chal­lenges faced by indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­enc­ing poverty.
Use this knowl­edge to start think­ing about how to apply it to improve outcomes for people experiencing poverty.
What is poverty, and how does it impact lives and
com­mu­ni­ties?
Poverty Simulation
Explore local poverty-related demo­graph­ics, trends, and assump­tions.
Debrief and reflect upon the poverty sim­u­la­tion expe­ri­ence and dis­cuss poten­tial actions related to sup­port­ing indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies liv­ing in poverty.
“Walk a mile” in the shoes of some­one expe­ri­enc­ing poverty through a sim­u­la­tion, one of the most
effec­tive ways to learn.
Addressing Poverty
Work together with your col­leagues to iden­tify and build strate­gies to out­line improve­ments to work­place poli­cies, ser­vices and inter­ac­tions with peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty.
Learn about com­mu­nity resources address­ing poverty, includ­ing strengths and lim­i­ta­tions.
NOTE: Under­stand­ing Poverty or Poverty Sim­u­la­tion are a pre­req­ui­site for this train­ing.
"I have worked in Community Corrections for over 21 years now, and thought I knew about most of the problems homelessness creates for our already challenged population. I found I really had no idea of the day to day difficulties...I was not expecting the evening to be so impactful, but quickly realized it has the potential to change lives. It certainly changed mine."
"<Poverty Awareness Training> demonstrated just how much stigma is attached to poverty in our culture."
"Loved the interaction as groups to show how everyone comes from different perspectives in life."
by Poverty Awareness Training participants.
Testimonials
"This training is important for everyone because it shows a small look into the life of poverty, it helps give them more compassion in working with people in that situation."
Full transcript