Overview Supporting individuals and families as they focus on their financial and well-being goals.

Since 1917, Catholic Family Center’s mission has been to partner with – and advocate for – the most vulnerable in our community, especially those facing poverty – to help them achieve their full human potential.

In 2016, Bridges to Success and Family Independence Initiative were selected as the first two public offerings from the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI), a community-wide effort to help people achieve financial security and prosperity. These offerings are based on the idea of people having a trusted partner that supports them as they work towards achieving goals they set.

Leslie's Story This is my calling

One of our professional mentors, Leslie Mosman, shares the impact Bridges has made on her life.

Read More

Update, 2020 Adult mentoring programs shown to increase employment, income

Bridges to Success and Family Independence Initiative demonstrate significant impact

An unprecedented collaboration among a trio of local non-profit organizations has helped nearly 150 participants, many of them heads of families, achieve economic mobility and toward self-sufficiency by partnering individuals and families with dedicated mentors who help address and overcome barriers to employment. Catholic Family Center, Action for a Better Community, and Community Place of Greater Rochester came together to lead a two-year pilot of a pair of adult mentoring programs. Bridges to Success paired individuals with a mentor to identify goals and overcome roadblocks to employment and the Family Independence Initiative helped families create social support networks that helped move them toward their financial goals.

Key results of the pilot include:

  • 80.6 percent of participants in the Bridges to Success program advanced from “crisis” or “at-risk” to “stable” in at least one major area (e.g., housing, health, education, employment)
  • The average household income for graduated Bridges to Success participants increased by 107.5 percent.
  • The average number of graduated Family Independence Initiative participants employed increased by 24.4 percent.

Continue reading about each of our programs, and how to participate, on their program pages:

Bridges to Success (BTOS)

A quick overview of some of our recent successes in just two short years

110%
Increase
In number of participants employed
118%
Increase
In participants' average earned monthly household income
80%
Advancement
Of participants from "Crisis" or "At Risk" to Stable

Bridges to Success Individuals and families working with a partner-navigator to achieve their goals

Contact Information:

What is Bridges to Success?

Bridges to Success pairs individuals with a mentor/navigator to help them meet their goals on their way to self-sufficiency.

Bridges to Success is an adult mentoring program providing a person-centered approach to self-sufficiency and well-being. Participants work with mentors to create goals and a personalized plan of action to achieve individual and or family financial independence. Bridges to Success is supported by Action for a Better Community and Catholic Family Center.

Goals May Include:

  • Advancing education and job skills
  • Meeting family needs
  • Creating supportive social networks
  • Reducing debt/ Increasing savings and credit score
  • Achieving safe and affordable housing
  • Full-time employment with benefits
  • Financial Management
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health

What Does Bridges Do?

  • Assist you in creating a step by step action plan
  • Prepares you to navigate community resources
  • Offers you access to flexible funds
  • Provides an advocate dedicated to your success

Apply Now - Shawn Futch (or someone on the team) will contact you with further information.

Eligibility criteria

  • Age 18 or older
  • Residence in Monroe County, NY
  • Valid photo ID (driver’s license, NYS ID, benefits card, passport)
  • US citizenship or legal US residency
  • Ability to work full-time
  • Income level below 200% of federal poverty guidelines
  • Proof of income (hire letter, pay stubs, DHS budget sheet)
  • Able to meet monthly with a mentor for up to two years
  • If no HS degree/equivalency will work on this as first goal
  • Have not previously enrolled in Bridges

Program Cost and Selection Process

For eligible participants, there is no program cost. Because of the high demand for this program eligible participants will be selected by lottery to enroll in the Bridges to Success program. Those not selected will be connected to alternate services.

Intake Process

For more information, please visit our program page or contact our team at (585) 325-5116

Bridges to Success (BTOS)

A quick overview of some of our recent successes in just two short years

110%
Increase
In number of participants employed
118%
Increase
In participants' average earned monthly household income
80%
Advancement
Of participants from "Crisis" or "At Risk" to Stable

Family Independ­ence Initiative Transforming Communities, One Family at a Time.

Contact Information:

  • Address:

    87 N Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14604

  • Phone:

    (585) 546-7220x7072

About the Program

Family Independence Initiative (FII) was one of the first initiatives from the Rochester/Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) (http://endingpovertynow.org/). The program completed a two-year pilot period in 2019. Both Bridges and Family Independence Initiative programs showed significant progress during their pilot periods in moving individuals toward self-sufficiency.

Update, 2020: The FII Rochester pilot completed with outcomes including a 32% increase in average household income and a 24.4% increase in employment. Lessons learned on a national level has resulted in FII planning significant changes in 2020. Future expansion of FII Rochester will be considered once the next version of the FII National approach is defined. During 2020, interested participants are being served by our Bridges to Success.

The FII Model

Since 2001, FII has been observing and documenting the lives of low-income families. We have seen that the barriers to economic and social mobility for low-income families are not found within the families themselves, but instead are a set of assumptions that characterize people with low-income as either lazy or helpless victims who need professional intervention.

FII puts families at the center of all we do, following their lead and relying on their guidance. We trust and invest in low-income families as well as the solutions they discover on their own. FII families meet and come together in their neighborhoods to solve the problems that keep them from leading more economically secure lives. We track the progress of individual families and use that data to identify and invest in the solutions that are working for them.

Intake Process

The FII Rochester program has completed and, during 2020, interested participants are being served by our Bridges to Success.

Family Independence Initiative

A quick overview of some of our recent successes in just two short years

24.4%
Increase
In number of participants employed
32%
Increase
In participants' average earned monthly household income