Branches provides life-changing opportunities to working families and their children to help them break the cycle of generational poverty.
Our Mission is to serve, educate and inspire people through student, family and financial wellness services in partnership with our communities.
We fulfill our mission by engaging children, youth and adults with opportunities for them to become better educated, more financially stable, able to make long-term, positive life choices and to know God. Our focus is on student achievement, family services, and financial wellness and our programs serve children, youth, adults and families through our three respective program areas:
Branches was established in 1973 as the urban and social justice agency of what is now the South East District of the United Methodist Church. Up until 1999, Branches focused on grassroots organizing, advocacy and working with community members who were disadvantaged and/or experiencing social injustice. During this period, Branches focused resources in the areas of social crisis, immigration, housing, hospice care and hurricane relief, among others. Since 2000, Branches has embarked on developing and implementing programs that address the root causes of poverty and address immediate and critical needs. Today, Branches’ menu of services provides a continuum of support to community members to empower them to pursue life changing opportunities.
The social impact and value we create in people’s lives and in the communities where we serve utilizes coaching and empowerment, is long-term in nature and is holistic in scope.
- Coaching and Empowerment – We ultimately want people to succeed in their endeavors and live more fruitful and productive lives. We also believe that motivated people and those open to becoming more motivated are more likely to benefit from strategic opportunities provided to them. Therefore, Branches has incorporated both coaching and empowerment methodologies in how we engage children and families. The change that takes place from the use of these methodologies is likened to a paradigm shift in one’s beliefs and outlook. In contrast to counseling, both coaching and empowerment blend accountability, self-initiative, commitment, improvement and goal achievement to enable people to achieve self-defined, truly outstanding and sustainable results in their lives.
- Long-term – Human services have traditionally been transactional in nature. When a service is delivered to the client, it is counted and deemed successful. Branches social impact is more substantive and transformational because of the high value we place on achieving long-term outcomes built from ongoing relationships with people. Through caring and supportive relationships, people are more responsive and willing to engage. The most substantial changes in a person’s life are generally progressive and take time. Therefore, the Grow and Climb programs seek to retain children and youth for many years and the Achieve programs create a system of ongoing support and renewal in the coaching process that stretches over months and years.
- Holistic – Our program focus is broad enough to address the critical areas in people’s lives such as education, financial knowledge, income, healthcare, relationships and personal values. Our overall social impact also goes beyond the individual and is premised upon a partnership with the communities in which we serve. By developing mutually beneficial partnerships and leveraging diverse resources, together we are able to lead community wide change that creates impactful opportunities for families, neighborhoods and the community as a whole.