Thrive! Andover will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday

“Thrive! Andover” will host its first meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 123 N. Andover Road.  The Andover program is part of Thrive! Butler,  a new anti-poverty initiative adopted by several area school districts.  
The program uses the power  relationships to address underlying causes of generational poverty. Thrive! is committed to helping residents from all socioeconomic positions understand the challenges of those in poverty, as well.
Valecia Scriber, chair of the group, explained that there are a lot of resources for immediate help, but not a lot of long-term institutions to help get people back on their feet and out of poverty permanently by becoming self sufficient. That’s how Thrive! got started.
“People come to churches seeking help, and both churches were frustrated that, while we were helping people with their immediate needs, we were doing nothing for long-term solutions. We reached out to other individuals and entities who might be interested, and went from there,” Scribner stated.
Research conducted by Thrive! shows that 5,462 households in the county earn less than $15,000 per year.
The Census Bureau indicates that 10 percent of Butler County residents live below the poverty line. That number jumps to 20 percent just in El Dorado alone, where 772 households live below 50 percent of the poverty line. Thrive! numbers suggest that, for a family of four, that means they would have less than $12,125 per year.
In schools, more than 25 percent of children enrolled in schools qualify for free and reduced lunch.
 For more information on Thrive! Andover, contact Michelle Carlini at (316) 733-1423.