JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Marcia Alcala, 49,is preparing for Christmas -- a very tight Christmas.
"We don't make enough money," she said. "But we'll have a good Christmas."
Alcala is among the number of Jacksonville residents living below the Federal Poverty level. For a family of four, that number is $23,550 a year.
Sixteen percent of the population of Jacksonville is in that category.
"Each day people are losing their jobs andlosing their homes," she said.
A wife and mother of four, Alcala dreams everyday of providing the best for her children.
"My dream is having a home of my own and my children to go to college," she said.
When herhusband lost his job as a sub contractor, she saidthey went from being homeless, to now living in subsidized housing.
"We have built a model that is best for the community," said Dawn Lockhart.
After five years of research, a Jacksonville coalition has a plan to move people out of poverty.
Lockhart isPresident of Family Foundations.
"It can be done," Lockhart said. "All we've done is organized the chess pieces differently on the game board."
"We've figured out which out of those pieces need to be linked to lift families out of poverty," she added.
The goal is to take 1,000 people in 1,000 daysand move them frompoverty to self sufficiency.
There are nine intervention methods to the road of success, but the architects of the plan said just completing seven of the stepsis enough for a participant toachieve success.
Michael Corrigan, Duval County Tax Collector, chaired the committee and said the plan has great potential.
"It is something we cannot continue to ignore in our community," said Corrigan. "We know poverty is problem in this community and it is time to start addressing it."
The steps covers building financial assets while reducing debt, resolving criminal background issues and job training, also tackling social issues like quality child care and transportation.
It has worked with success in two pilot programs, now they're taking it to the next level.
Anyone interested should contact Family Foundations. (904)396-4846 or www.familyfoundations.org.