Our vision at Poverty Stoplight PA is to help families become the protagonists in poverty elimination in the metropolitan Pittsburgh region.

We are committed to creating holistic solutions for the root causes of violence and poverty. We are dedicated to increasing access to social services and employment, creating equality of opportunity, and promoting peace.



Poverty Stoplight breaks down the overwhelming concept of poverty into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through simple interventions, making the "invisible" manifestations of poverty visible in the shape of simple, understandable indicators.



Poverty Stoplight was created as both a metric and a methodology that allows families to assess their levels of poverty and to carry out personalized strategies to overcome those deficits. Our self-evaluation survey is conducted using software that can be used on computers or tablets. The more than 50 indicators represent 6 dimensions of poverty: Income & Employment, Health & Environment, Housing & Infrastructure, Education & Culture, Organization & Participation, Interiority & Motivation. Each indicator is represented by three images and simple explanations that the family uses to complete a self-evaluated survey. Each image represents a situation which defines extreme poverty (red), poverty (yellow) and non-poverty (green). This helps identify the family's status for each specific indicator. Families meet with a staff person and results of the survey are presented with their strengths in green and areas for improvement in yellow and red.

The family develops their own “out of poverty” map choosing their own priorities for their map. Staff provide mentoring and coaching to the family with a focus on support and providing linkages and resources. Families retake the survey periodically to measure progress.

Finally, the technology of the Poverty Stoplight application allows for real time data to be collected for neighborhoods, cities, regions and states, even countries. This data can be used to inform policy and resource allocation decisions, allowing for a world free of poverty.



"Poverty Stoplight isn't a hand out, it's a hand up"
- Phyliss, Braddock resident and Free Store volunteer



Poverty Stoplight PA is a program of Roots of Renewal and a Poverty Stoplight HUB. As a HUB, we partner with nonprofits, governmental entities, small businesses and community-based organizations to implement Poverty Stoplight with their clients.


Poverty Stoplight PA staff are trained as both Progress Partners and instructors for the program. Poverty Stoplight PA can implement the program using our staff or we can train staff at partner organizations to implement the program themselves thus embedding Poverty Stoplight methodology within their existing programs. Poverty Stoplight PA provides ongoing training and technical support for their HUB partners.

Progress Partners are trained to administer the survey, help develop the family’s “out of poverty” map, and provide coaching and mentoring to the family during their time in the program. Progress Partners are there to support the families, not to “tell families what they should or need to do.”

Poverty Stoplight PA will initially be implementing the program by surveying a small community and by partnering with a small local business. We hope to recruit staff from the communities we work in and these projects will provide hands-on training experience. This approach will provide employment in the community as well as allow us to build capacity as the program grows.

Every family is unique and Poverty Stoplight recognizes that every family is impacted by and responds differently to poverty. A core value of the program is that individuals and families become the agents for change in their own lives.



1202 Marvista Street #2
Pittsburgh, PA  15212


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