Richmond’s adult poverty rate is nearly double the national average, which means that one in four people in Richmond are living in poverty. Two years ago, a group of concerned citizens created a nonprofit, Circles RVA, to break the cycle.

Circles RVA is a long-term, high-impact program that works with families in the Greater Richmond area, providing them the social network, financial tools, and emotional encouragement that people need to grow.

Participants enrolled in the program are called Circle Leaders, as they are leading their own journeys. As part of the program, they’re paired with Circle Allies, who help them along their path to financial stability and independence. Graduates of the Circles RVA program have celebrated major milestones like improved credit scores, purchasing vehicles, and paying down debt.

We spoke with Circles RVA Community Coordinator Kristin Blalock for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more on their website.