About Us

Napa Circles®

Circles has been successful nationwide and now it is time to bring it to Napa county which has both the highest and the lowest per capita incomes in the San Francisco Bay area.

NAPA NEEDS: A recent Stanford study reported Napa has one of the highest poverty rates in the State of California. The 2013 Napa County Comprehensive Community Health Assessment (CHA) reports “Many individuals and families are living in poverty in Napa County; over one quarter of all residents and one third of families with children under 18 live below 200% of the federal poverty level.” The CHA highlights issues which include “having access to affordable health related services, education, healthy foods, transportation,…employment and housing opportunities and access to mental health services.” The CHA also specifies “…that Latino community members are marginalized in a number of ways, and that disparities related to the Latino community members need to be addressed. A higher percentage of Latino families live below the poverty level in Napa County.”

TARGET POPULATION: Napa Circles® serves families participating in the Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program administered through the City of Napa Housing Authority. Of the 1208 Section 8 families living in Napa County, 352 are the pool of potential candidates for the Napa Circles® Program. All of the target population families are at or below 30% of the median household income for the County. The Head-of-Household for the family will be between the ages of 18-65. 12% have cash aid through TANF, and 24% receive food stamps. Demographically, the heads-of-house are: 36% Hispanic or Latino, 67% are female and 62% disabled.

EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE: Napa Circles® Initiative is affiliated with Circles® USA. The Circles® program was started in 2000 and has developed over 70 Circles® programs throughout the United States and Canada. Circles® USA provides training and coaching to the Napa Circles® Initiative. In addition, Circles® USA will formally evaluate Napa Circles® Initiative and maintain an electronic database to track outcomes of the program.

The field of self-sufficiency and anti-poverty programs do not have a body of evidence that includes practices supported by scientific trials or higher levels of evidence, therefore, Circles® represents an emerging practice that is supported by well designed national evaluations. Circles® USA maintains systematic evaluation data on all Circle programs throughout the United States and Canada.

PROJECT OUTCOMES: The measured outcomes will be: Circle Leader employed, increased Circle Leader income and financial assets, reduced debt, increased level of education, reduction in reliance on public benefits, access to health insurance, increase access to food and nutrition resources, stability of housing and transportation, and increase in community involvement and volunteerism.

Guiding coalition

The Guiding Coalition is the primary organizing group for the Napa Circles® Initiative. It provides leadership, guidance and oversight. It gives input and direction for future programming including the sustainability and expansion of the existing Circles® Initiative. The Guiding Coalition as a group represents the diversity in Napa County and includes people from all economic classes who are committed to building community and ending poverty. The Guiding Coalition is composed of community leaders, families with low incomes, elected and appointed officials and volunteers. The Coalition ensures that the Circles® program establishes strong linkages to existing services in Napa County.