Administered by The Deep Well Project

Removing barriers that keep people in poverty.

Shavonne Vasquez, BSW, the Hilton Head Island Circles Manager for Deep Well made a presentation at the March 2, 2023, General Member Meeting of the GIC. The Hilton Head Chapter of Circles is part of a nationwide program, Circles USA that started 20 years ago and has 70 local chapters.  Its mission is to help families get out of poverty and to remove barriers that keep people in poverty.    

Over 43 million people in the US live in poverty, including 1 in 6 children, and in Beaufort County, 10% of the population falls under the poverty line.  

Participants (called Circle Leaders) in the Circles program make a significant commitment to attend weekly meetings.  They build relationships with volunteers (Allies).  Circle Leaders, their families, and Allies meet weekly, sharing a meal and learning from each other.  Children are welcome to attend with the adults.  The meetings help families climb out of poverty and become financially stable.  In addition, barriers that keep people in poverty are identified and participants become advocates working to resolve the issues in the larger Hilton Head community.  

There are many opportunities for volunteers from the community to work with Circles Hilton Head Island both as Allies or serving on committees addressing specific areas that are barriers to moving people out of poverty, such as housing, child care, transportation, and many others.  

To view the Circles Presentation, click here.

To read a one-page overview of the Circles program, click here.

Find out more about this important new program at the Deep Well Project website

You can also watch these videos to learn more about how Circles works and the inspiring Circles origin story.

Shavonne Vasquez Bio

Shavonne’s family arrived in New York many years ago from Puerto Rico to find better opportunities and success.  As someone who has experienced life in poverty, she brings insight to those she works with in the Circles program.  She has been in the human services field for eighteen years in direct care and advocacy.