Economic Mobility

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

The Economic Mobility team is focused on breaking the cycle of poverty and helping to create opportunity for families to achieve greater economic self-sufficiency.
We believe that families are the experts of their own lives and partner with them to set and achieve goals.

What pathways out of poverty do we offer?

Worker with Ladder


This program is designed to help parents in Southside Hampton Roads pursue vocational education. Participants partner with a career coach to explore and enroll in short-term educational programs. Coaching and limited financial support with childcare and transportation are provided to help parents complete programs and become employed using their certification. Referrals into the program are made by community partners or learners themselves (

Row of Houses


The program is designed to help households in Portsmouth and Chesapeake secure safe, affordable, adequate housing and establish a housing stability plan for long-term self-sufficiency. Participants receive coaching and a short-term rental subsidy to help them achieve greater stability. Prioritization for the program includes households that recently had sudden decrease in income and/or unavoidable increase in non-discretionary expenses. Referrals into the program are made by the Housing Crisis Hotline and several community partners.

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Strive, a Mobility Mentoring®- informed initiative, is a coaching program designed to help women with children reach a higher level of economic stability. Women partner with an individual mentor to guide goal setting over 12 to 18 months. These goals focus on the areas of housing and employment, and can result in greater family stability, stronger support systems, increased financial security and new job prospects. Strive participants receive $200 every three months of active participation and graduate into Aspire.



ForKids, in partnership with United Way of South Hampton Roads and Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, with generous funding from Women United, launched Aspire to work with mothers from around South Hampton Roads who have safe, stable housing and are employed to develop and achieve goals that will allow them to gain financial independence. Aspire participants graduate when they are in or on track to be in a living wage job and have saved $1500. The Aspire Partnership will match this savings 2:1, leaving our participants with at least $4500 in savings upon graduation.