Evansville St. Vincent de Paul receives grant for ‘Getting Ahead’

Special to The Message

The Evansville-area St. Vincent de Paul Society was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the CenterPoint Energy Foundation to conduct a 16-week session of their self-discovery and personal financial improvement program titled, “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting-by World: Building Your Resources for a Better Life.”

Getting Ahead is built upon the principles in “Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities,” written by Ruby Payne, Phil DeVol and Terie Dreussi Smith.

In Getting Ahead sessions, a small group of 10-12 individuals use reading materials, group discussions and activities to learn about themselves, the theory of change, the causes of poverty in the United States and the unspoken or “hidden” rules of different economic classes. Participants also learn about the importance of language when speaking across economic classes, discover 11 categories of resources, conduct personal and community assessments of those resources and begin to create and work toward plans of economic improvement for themselves and the community.

Participants are compensated for their participation. The St. Vincent de Paul Society provides the evening meal before each session. Upon graduation, participants may be eligible to apply for a consumer loan backed by St. Vincent de Paul to help retire any predatory debt and begin building a higher personal credit rating. Community partners continue to work with participants following graduation.

St. Vincent de Paul is a member of the local Getting Ahead Initiative Network (GAIN). To learn about joining a St. Vincent de Paul Getting Ahead group or to volunteer to help, visit https://svdpevansville.org/getting-ahead/, email [email protected] or call the office at 812-602-5182.

The CenterPoint Energy Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization funded by non-utility-related transactions and is not an element of customers’ energy bills.