Bridging Forward – Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster Counties2023-03-24T15:26:25-05:00

Together, we are…

Bridging Forward

A program to reduce poverty in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster counties by 30% by 2030.

But we need you!

Learn more

Bridging Forward, a program created by the Community Impact Network and United Way of South Central Nebraska is an innovative effort to engage all of us in putting individuals, families, and this community on the road to stability.


Improve quality of life

Lead people to true prosperity: enough shelter, food, healthcare, childcare, meaningful work, and community to THRIVE.

Increase our local workforce

There are currently 800+ open job in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster Counties as well as thousands of under-employed workers.

Reducing the Need

Our new system discourages reliance on public assistance by properly preparing and onboarding individuals to quality, meaningful work.

Current Situation

How many are in poverty in our area?

Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster Counties have a poverty rate of 12% – or 5,469 people.  This is higher than the poverty rate of the state of Nebraska.

  • 12.5% of Adams County live in poverty – or 3,948 people.

  • 10.5% of Clay County live in poverty – or 651 people.

  • 11.2% of Nuckolls County live in poverty – or 475 people.

  • 10.8% of Webster County live in poverty – or 382 people.

Data taken from the Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 5-year estimates

Our goal

What does a 30% reduction in poverty look like?

bridging forward graph about poverty alleviation

700 households over the next ten years living a better life!

The Plan

How will we do this?

It’s time to do things differently.  We will be moving from a POVERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (a band-aid approach), which is transactional, short-term, and unreliable.  The new system will be a POVERTY ALLEVIATION SYSTEM.

Crisis Intervention

For a person in crisis, the system prioritizes meeting basic needs to address the emergency. This includes safe shelter, food, immediate health and legal needs before focusing on stabilization.


The focus is on building a stronger foundation that enhances resiliency, creates ‘breathing room’ and provides the opportunity to begin to look toward the future.

Job Readiness

Getting ready for higher-wage work means the person can focus on developing needed skills and plan for their career future without the distraction of crisis or stabilization pitfalls.


We work closely with the new employer and the person to make the new job transition smoother, with the needed support system in place to ensure retention and to overcome challenges.


Once placed in a job that offers a line-of-sight to increased income, the focus is now on self-sufficiency planning, overcoming recurring pitfalls and increasing job roles and pay.


As defined by enough shelter, food, healthcare, childcare, meaningful work, and community to THRIVE.

bridging forward info graphic

Why We’re Doing This

Number of people we will impact
Average income increase per person over 24 months
Reduction in government assistance per person over 24 months
Impact to our local economy from increased wages and government assistance reduction
What is the difference between the Prosperity Coach Model and the Circles Model for Bridging Forward?2023-03-24T15:29:43-05:00

As our collaborative works to solve the puzzle of poverty, we have developed two models, depending on the relative stability of the individual wanting to move out of poverty.  More information for each is provided below.


  1. Prosperity Coach Model: For individuals who are just recently out of Crisis and need frequent case management-type help but are interested and motivated to progress towards strong life and financial goals. 
  • Individuals are connected to an experienced Prosperity Coach through Central Navigation, Catholic Social Services or similar
  • Take part in ongoing classes on financial literacy and goal setting with other Bridging Forward participants (food and childcare provided)
  • Meet weekly with their coach for the first four months to build stabilization, access readiness resources and formalize career plans


  1. Circles Model: For individuals who are Stable or close to it, need some support progressing out of poverty and into financial and life wellbeing. Ready to commit to intensive, longer-term work in partnership with volunteer Allies.  
  • This is a cohort model where a ‘cohort’ of participants begin at the same time
  • Individuals participate in three months of weekly classes related to financial literacy, goal setting, etc. along with other BF participants
  • Paired with two volunteer Allies who learn about the individual’s situation and work cooperatively on plans and goals to progress out of poverty to prosperity
  • Participant (the “Circle Leader”) meets with the Allies weekly at a communal meeting to work on their plan while learning together.  Food and childcare provided.
How can someone become a Prosperity Coach?2023-03-24T15:29:07-05:00

Many case managers and other social service agencies are already doing “prosperity coaching” – it may just be called something else!  If this is the case, please reach out and let’s find the best way to mesh your work with the work of Bridging Forward.  If you would like to become a Prosperity Coach and get participants referred to you or your agency please contact Brady at  Currently five different organizations or volunteers have developed themselves as BF Prosperity Coaches and we will need more!

What is the Pathway Binder?2023-03-24T15:28:41-05:00
  • This is an evidence-based method that involves a physical three-ring binder that participants use to develop a comprehensive view and work plan that addresses steps/needs/challenges along the Prosperity Pathway.  The binder gives other agencies, allies and coaches a chance to integrate work they may be doing with a participant and helps the participant track goals and action items.  Come into the United Way office or ask a participant to bring their binder in when you meet with them!


How does Bridging Forward help support people out of poverty?2023-03-24T15:28:13-05:00

The collaborative uses a Prosperity Pathway model – see below – that builds the foundations people need to access higher wage employment.  South Central Nebraska has many open positions that either provide a livable wage or have a reasonable path to that wage.  Bridging Forward partners with Workforce Development initiatives, educational institutions and employers to make higher wage careers a reality.

Our organization/program is not participating in Bridging Forward. How can we be included?2023-03-24T15:27:42-05:00

There is a role for every entity in the region!  Take a look at this interactive web (example below): maybe your organization is listed as a potential partner somewhere.  If not, and set up a time to talk about how you can be involved.  We can only achieve this goal if we work together!  We need organizations to supply referrals, Prosperity Coaches, volunteer recruitment/training/management, class facilitation, large and small group meal organization, spread the word, support participants and much more!

What if our agency is helping get people out of poverty already – do they have to be in Bridging Forward too?2023-03-24T15:27:21-05:00
  • No!  If your organization is already accountable for helping people build stability (a necessary precursor to getting out of poverty) or working with individuals to build their financial security, continue doing that work and reach out to the Bridging Forward coordinating team to share your process and data (be part of reaching 30%!).


What is the difference between Central Navigation and Bridging Forward?2023-03-24T15:25:11-05:00

Central Navigation is the problem-solving, coordinated hub of the Community Impact Network and supports individuals & families when they need help. Central Navigation is:

  • Short-term, collective problem-solving support to get people out of a jam or challenging situation that could impact the wellbeing of the family
  • Sustainability-focused: assistance will be provided to individuals or families that have a future plan for stability
  • Some financial assistance, if there are children in the home, there is NO open CPS case, the requestor has not been helped in the last year and has reached out to other agencies.


Bridging Forward is the initiative used by the Community Impact Network (all of us) to reduce poverty 30% by 2030 in the four-county area.  Central Navigators often work as Prosperity Coaches in Bridging Forward.  Bridging Forward is your collaborative’s all-hands-on-deck approach to comprehensive poverty reduction that involves longer-term, individual wraparound support for people working to get out of poverty and long-term strategic responses to systemic issues like housing and transportation.  See more information at and read on for clarification about the individual support options.  Bridging Forward is:

  • Long-term (12-18 months), comprehensive effort to build readiness, placement and retention in higher-wage employment, including needed family supports to deal with systemic challenges that would otherwise continue a cycle of financial instability
  • Some assistance provided to support a long-term plan
  • Two different models to participate in, see next page
  • Referrals come from individuals, CIN agency members, faith community, DHHS

News & Articles

Go to Top