Circles Initiative

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Our Mission

To inspire and equip families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive. 
Our Vision
A community where all have the opportunity to succeed and contribute.

             Click Here to Apply!
           Click Here to Volunteer!
About Us 

The Dubuque Circles Initiative is part of Circles USA, an innovative national model that uses research-based methods to support the long-term economic success of struggling families. Circles offers an array of personalized tools, including savings and asset building education, peer support, goal setting, coaching, community engagement, leadership development, and more, so participants have the holistic support they need to succeed. Circles encourages growth from people of all financial classes, so we can create lasting impact together.

How Circles Works

Circles participants are called Leaders. A Circle Leader's role is to be the leader of their own goals and success, and to have an active voice and role in the development of Circles and Circles Weekly Meetings. Each Leader is matched with an Ally, a volunteer who offers face-to-face support. Allies assist the Circle Leader in realizing their potential through deep listening, celebrating success, and offering encouragement during failures. Some Allies provide more direct consulting for Leaders, such as budgeting, asset building, job searching, and resume writing.

Every Tuesday evening, Circle Leaders and Allies come together to work on their goals, develop soft skills, and learn about Circles' community collaborations that can advance them to reaching their goals. Circles requires hard-work and a long-term commitment, which are the keys to lasting change.
                              Weekly Meetings

Every Tuesday Evening
Prescott Elementary School

1151 White Street, Dubuque
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Community Collaborations

Greater Dubuque Development Corporation 
Dupaco Community Credit Union 
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque 
Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors 
Northeast Iowa Community College
Iowa Works 
Express Employment Professionals 
Sedona Staffing Agency
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 
Inclusive Dubuque
Multicultural Family Center


"It's rewarding because it's a relationship with other people who are oriented towards improvement. It's encouraging to be part of a network." - Jonas

"My mindset has completely shifted. I will live my life, not just survive it... [Circles] gave me the reassurance that I am not alone in this journey... the light is at the end of the tunnel, and I will get there!" -Erica

Circles has made me feel more empowered and more connected to the community." -Amy 

"There are many great opportunities in Dubuque, but Circles is as good as it gets."  -Bob 

"I was attracted to Circles because of their mission and was very proud that Dubuque was one of the first, if not the only, city in Iowa addressing poverty in our community." -Faye 

"I got involved to empower people. Take people from where they were to finding their gifts." -Pat

"It has made me more aware of how I come off to people, what I'm saying, how I'm saying it." -Leslie

"I'm mostly looking for someone to care. Someone to ask me how my week was, or just be there to listen." -Candy

"I thought, if I can just make that right amount of money to take care of my family, then all would be well in the world. I now know you have to be rich in other resources as well, in order to be a success." -Erica