We’re as tired of guesswork as you are.
“Many federal programs are not designed and measured for the end goal impact. How can we set our goal at ending homelessness and then measure success by counting the number of shelter beds we fill? How can we have a goal of a family thriving and then count it successful when they are signed up for public benefits?”
— Heather Reynolds
We can’t. We’re not interested in lukewarm solutions that focus on treating poverty symptoms at the expense of the people most affected.
The cost of poverty is carried by more than the poor. It robs society of productive potential. It wastes money on ineffective programs. It silences the voices of those with the most to say.
It’s not enough to simply believe ending poverty is possible. We have to find a new path that others can follow.
people are living
below the poverty line
in the United States
more children live
in low-income working families
today than during the Great Recession
Growing up poor
can reduce adulthood
earnings by 40%
Poverty level for a family
of four is earning less than
$24,600 per year. That’s roughly
half of the calculated amount
needed to cover basic necessities in Texas
Padua is a new kind of collaboration that brings together the good work that many of us are doing to fight poverty. It moves beyond the one-off programmatic interventions. Padua is designed to support clients across all interconnected areas that contribute to long term growth and success.
We partnered with the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) research team at the University of Notre Dame to evaluate and research our model.
We already do work we believe is morally right. Now, we’re doing what’s needed to prove that it’s economically practical and socially responsible.
It means earning a living wage to sustain your family. It means having savings in the bank and demonstrating savings behavior. It means being free of government subsidies. It means being out of the never-ending cycle.
By creating a community support system, we give each client a group of people they can turn to for support as they move towards stability and independence.
Supercharged Case Management
Each person’s poverty looks different, and we need out-of-the-box thinkers who can customize a mix of resources and service to help each client find a path out of poverty.
Case Managers will go through an assessment process with each client that will include:
True wrap-around case management means developing a relationship with every client that’s based on meaningful engagement. Our case managers provide the encouragement, coaching and coordination of resources that’s needed to be truly effective.
Individualized Strengths-Based Asset Plans
We need to look at the whole client, not just their need for today. We need to be honest about the challenges the poor face. The assumptions we’ve been making about what makes people poor and keeps them poor are all wrong. We need to stop thinking those in poverty have something wrong with them. We need to invest in the strengths each client brings the first time we meet them.
We walk our clients through a strengths-based approach using 12 assets we believe are most important for them to achieve long term self sufficiency.
We have defined a set of benchmarks for each asset that will help structure a service plan that emphasizes each client’s strengths and self-determined goals.
Community Support Systems
Along with CCUSA and LEO, we are working with other non-profits, businesses, politicians, and educational institutions that can provide feedback, evaluation and support.
By creating a community support system, we’ve developed an infrastructure to streamline coordination of multiple resources that each client can turn to as they move towards stability and independence.
“We chose to invest in Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s Padua Pilot because it is the first comprehensive solution to poverty we’ve seen.” – Carrie Morgridge, The Morgridge Foundation
One of the biggest gaps in the fight against poverty is lack of in-depth research. In addition to conducting our own internal evaluation, we partnered with the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) research team at the University of Notre Dame to conduct an impact evaluation of our model. When we started this process, we committed to transparency. We recently released internal results from our year one group.
As we move forward, we will continue to use what we are learning on the ground to influence the way we do business and adjust the way we provide services. Our intent is to define our success in a way that can be replicated nationwide, and maybe, just maybe, change the face of social services.
Yes, we are guided by Catholic Social Teaching, but Padua is a practical and sound approach to a problem we feel called to solve because our clients deserve better. Our community deserves better. Our country deserves better.