A Detroit-based social service agency is working on a pilot program to bring its unusual approach to dealing with poverty to Arizona and the rest of the nation. Matrix Social Services has created what it calls "Transition to Success," which treats poverty like an illness and its clients like patients.
While typical social service programs focus on symptoms of poverty, such as hunger and homelessness, Matrix creates an action plan for its clients. Marcella Wilson, president of Matrix, says the first thing they ask people is, "What is your dream?"
The program helps people out of poverty by offering them goal-oriented counseling services, with action plans to help individuals or families reach their goals. They also get referrals to the aid programs specific to their needs. And Wilson says it does not cost any more than traditional service agencies.