Become a Leader, volunteer as a supportive friend, share specific skills or serve on the steering committee to support The Atlas Initiative.
Leaders are low-income individuals or families with limited resources who are motivated and committed to reaching their dreams and achieving greater stability. Leaders participate in a 20 week leadership and empowerment training to learn more about poverty in their community, understand their strengths and resources, and receive coaching on how to set realistic goals to help them build their resources and reach their goals. After the successful completion of this training, Leaders continue to participate in Atlas for at least 18 more months, working with Allies and other Leaders on the goals they have set for themselves.
Phase two of Atlas matches Leaders with volunteer Allies who are committed to walking alongside the Leaders and providing supportive friendship, encouragement and connections to other resources as they work to reach goals together.
Allies are volunteer community members who form supportive friendships with Leaders. Allies are typically from more affluent income levels and have a willingness to help and learn. Small groups of Allies work with each Leader and family to provide support, while also being open to learning and receiving support from their group's relationships. Allies may help with specific needs like tutoring, job searching, or budgeting, but the primary focus of an Ally is to build relationships with families in the community who are struggling, but working hard, to get out of poverty.
Allies are asked to commit a minimum of 3 hours a month to volunteering with Atlas for at least 18 months. Allies attend at least one Atlas meeting per month and check in with the Leader and family at least once a month (outside of Atlas meetings).