The mission of the Bucks County Opportunity Council is to reduce poverty and partner with our community to promote economic self-sufficiency.
As the lead anti-poverty agency in the County, BCOC helps those in need through five programs that include emergency services, food distribution, weatherization, and income tax preparation assistance. But it is our 5th program, Economic Self-Sufficiency, that moves beyond the immediate crisis and helps those in need create an action plan that will enable them to leave poverty for good.
Established in 1997, the ES Program is an evidence-based program that assists hard-working, motivated Bucks County residents achieve economic stability. Eligible families are paired with an ES Coach to develop an individualized plan to gain the education, skills and resources necessary for a quality of life. These individualized plans focus on education and employment.
The ES program is a one-on-one coaching program that takes an individual approach to each participant’s needs and goals. We do not offer a “cookie cutter” or “one size fits all” approach, as poverty is complicated and each person has a story and a path that is unique. Our coaches are skilled to handle diverse and complicated situations and have resources available to help participants achieve success. The ES Coaches build relationship with each participant that includes insistence, high expectation and support. Coaches assist participants in identifying the resources needed to achieve economic stability, the action steps necessary to build resources, time and space to goal plan, support to foster success through decision making, planning and education, financial assistance where appropriate and assist participants in building their social capital.
To “graduate” from our ES Program, clients must reach the following benchmarks: living wage job, reliable transportation, affordable housing, health care plan, balanced budget, and free of government subsidies.