Agency seeks to treat poverty like an illness

May 28, 2013

A social service agency based in Detroit, Mich. is working to bring its unusual approach to poverty to Arizona. Matrix Human Services treats poverty like an illness and its clients like patients. President Marcella Wilson says the first thing they ask people is: “What is your dream?”

“So if that person wishes to be a nurse, we start with basic needs—food, clothing shelter,” Wilson said. “We then move to making sure that the client learns how to work, then learning how to read, getting a GED, financial literacy.”

From there, Wilson says, they help the client access the other services needed to be successful in higher education. And, she says the program doesn't cost any more than traditional service agencies.

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