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Empower UC Launching First Location In Putnam Next Month

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Empower UC Launching First Location In Putnam Next Month

Empower Upper Cumberland will soft launch its community-based portion of its initiative to reimagine social services in Putnam County this July.

Director Megan Spurgeon said the location will be a chapter of Circles USA. Circles USA is a relationship driven model implemented throughout the country that UCHRA wants to adopt.

“These Circle chapters are staffed and ran by communities with unpaid positions,” Spurgeon said. “It’s all volunteers. It’s churches that are coming together to provide this type of curriculum. There’s meals. Families eat together. There’s childcare that is provided and education happening for the children.”

Executive Director Mark Farley said the Circle locations will serve as the foundation of Empower Upper Cumberland. Farley said the operations would be headquartered in a church or non-profit.

“Hopefully at the end of three years, we built a network that is continuing this work on when the $25 million has been spent,” Farley said. “We built the capacity and relationships and the process to keep it sustainable.”

Spurgeon said the Putnam County location will be the first chapter in Tennessee. The end goal is to create eight locations across the Upper Cumberland. Spurgeon said the Putnam location will be a learning experience for more launches next year.

“We know with such a big region, we can’t tackle 14 counties at once,” Spurgeon said. “That’s a recipe for a disaster, so we’re trying to do it in segments so we can do it successfully, as well. We are excited about Circles.”

Empower Upper Cumberland is a $25 million, three-year state funded program to bring more families out of poverty.


The post Empower UC Launching First Location In Putnam Next Month appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.