I was thrilled to have the work of Family Independence Initiative featured in a recent segment of PBS Need To Know. The show took an in-depth look at Solving Poverty in America, examining FII’s self-help model and our insistence that low-income families should be in charge of their own change.
At the heart of my work is the knowledge that poor people are like everyone else, just with fewer resources — that poor people are broke, not broken. And that what we need to reduce poverty and create more social and economic mobility is a new approach that encourages people to work together, offers incentives for success and keeps low-income people in the driver’s seat.
One of the things I really like about the segment is that it captures how FII has set up an environment for people to get mutual support, access resources and ultimately to succeed on their own terms. As the FII participant Jolly Bugari says in the episode, “This is where you can find resources. If the upper class can mingle and help each other out, this is a good way that we can do it too.”