The Troup County Center for Strategic Planning has hired Sherri Brown to direct the “Move the Mountain” poverty initiative.
Brown began work July 9 and has recently returned from the national “Hands On Training” in Newton, Kan.
“I’m excited about being in a position to make a lasting difference in the lives of people who live in poverty,” Brown said. “At the same time, this unique initiative works with the broader community to change their mindset about poverty and tackle some of the systemic barriers in the community. It benefits everyone.”
In Troup County, 21 percent of the population lives in poverty. That statistic led the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning to look for solutions to reverse the growing trend.
“We have incredible resources in this community to help people in a crisis situation - homeless shelters, food banks, utility aid, addiction recovery programs and so much more. This process is different in that it helps people who want to move out of poverty to reach their goals and dreams,” Brown said.
Brown has been an award-winning reporter for LaGrange Daily News since 1999 and also has written for non-profit organizations including Georgia Baptist Convention, the Baptist Home Mission Board and Leadership Network.
Brown has also led several community initiatives as a volunteer, including five projects with the national Southern Baptist World Changers program that brought more than 1,000 volunteers to LaGrange to rehabilitate more than 100 homes at no cost to the homeowners.
This summer, Brown directed WinShape Camps for Communities in LaGrange. Four local churches partnered to hold the camp which had 302 campers, with 241 of them receiving scholarships. More than $50,000 was raised from the community to provide the scholarships and costs for the camp.
“We are delighted that Sherri sees the potential of Move the Mountain so significant that she is willing to devote her talents and passion to its success,” said Ricky Wolfe, chairman of the Troup County Commission.
Currently, Brown is recruiting volunteers for the Move the Mountain program, including a leadership team and volunteers that will work with families in poverty as allies, as well as providing child care and meals for the weekly meetings.
Move the Mountain uses a model called “Circles” to not only help families out of poverty, but also to initiate changes in the community to eliminate barriers to economic stability.
Training is provided for both volunteers and families making the journey out of poverty.
After completing the training workshops, families in poverty are paired with several middle and upper income allies who befriend them and lend support to help them achieve their goals to become self-sufficient.
Brown’s office is at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center on Lafayette Parkway. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 706-883-1687.