About Us

January 26, 2011

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We facil­i­tate Poverty Aware­ness Train­ing to edu­cate groups and orga­ni­za­tions across Ore­gon about the poverty expe­ri­ence. As a result, orga­ni­za­tions can improve their under­stand­ing of what poverty looks and feels like, and strate­gize improve­ments to ser­vices, poli­cies and inter­ac­tions with peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty.

As a result, the stigma of poverty will be reduced, and ser­vices can be improved to more effi­ciently address both the human side and the ser­vice side of the impacts of poverty.


CoAc­tive Con­nec­tions pro­motes the aware­ness of the real­i­ties of poverty through edu­ca­tion and com­mu­nity advocacy.


No one will be treated dif­fer­ently because of their eco­nomic status.


We were founded in 2010 to give orga­ni­za­tions the tools to bet­ter under­stand the con­text and per­spec­tive from which peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty live.  As a result, deci­sions, ser­vices and poli­cies can more effec­tively address and reduce poverty in our com­mu­nity. We also work to reduce the stigma that sur­rounds poverty so that peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty will be treated with the same dig­nity and respect as oth­ers with dif­fer­ent eco­nomic sta­tuses.  Judg­ments about the poverty expe­ri­ence can limit the true poten­tial of peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty, thus reduc­ing com­mu­nity capital.

Poverty Train­ing Options:

Learn about our poverty train­ing options below to help improve your under­stand­ing of poverty, and strate­gize next steps to improve your ser­vices, poli­cies and inter­ac­tions with peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty.

Under­stand­ing Poverty

Train­ing Descrip­tion: What is poverty, and how does it impact lives and com­mu­ni­ties? Learn about com­mon poverty myths and under­stand the daily real­i­ties that some­one faces when expe­ri­enc­ing poverty. Explore bar­ri­ers and chal­lenges faced by indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­enc­ing poverty, and use that knowl­edge to start think­ing about how to apply this to your work and inter­ac­tions with peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty. The work­shop includes expe­ri­en­tial activ­i­ties and active dis­cus­sion. Learn more.

Poverty Sim­u­la­tion

Train­ing Descrip­tion: “Walk a mile” in the shoes of some­one expe­ri­enc­ing poverty through a sim­u­la­tion, one of the most effec­tive ways to learn. You will also explore local poverty-related demo­graph­ics, trends, and assump­tions. There is an oppor­tu­nity to debrief and reflect upon the poverty sim­u­la­tion expe­ri­ence and dis­cuss poten­tial actions related to sup­port­ing indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies liv­ing in poverty. Learn more.

Address­ing Poverty

Train­ing Descrip­tion: Work together with your col­leagues to iden­tify and build strate­gies to out­line improve­ments to work­place poli­cies, ser­vices and inter­ac­tions with peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing poverty. Learn about com­mu­nity resources address­ing poverty, includ­ing strengths and lim­i­ta­tions. The train­ing includes expe­ri­en­tial activ­i­ties and active dis­cus­sion. NOTE: Under­stand­ing Poverty or Poverty Sim­u­la­tion are a pre­req­ui­site for this train­ing. Learn more.


We work to engage the com­mu­nity in look­ing at poverty in a new way, bring­ing the indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ence to pro­mote bet­ter under­stand­ing of the poverty expe­ri­ence. We do this by giv­ing voice to peo­ple through focus groups and inter­views, and using mul­ti­me­dia and social net­work­ing to edu­cate the com­mu­nity and reduce the stigma sur­round­ing poverty.

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  • The training taught me to “manage what I have better and be more aware of the stress level it causes to not be able to meet ‘your’ needs.” (Poverty Awareness Training participant)