In 2009, Judge Teresa Ballinger was introduced to the education curriculum “Bridges out of Poverty.” After learning new information on how to help people who were under-resourced, she decided to introduce the information to the Marion Community. In 2010, the first poverty simulation along with a community-wide Bridges out of Poverty training was held to educate the community.

After a couple successful training’s, a Bridges Steering Committee formed and Marion Matters was created. In 2011, Marion Matters applied to become incorporated and the following year applied for their 501(c)3 status.

After several years of running Getting Ahead programming the organization added another program to serve employers and employees in the workforce. In 2016, the Marion Area Employer Resource Network was formed and a Success Coach started serving employees within the walls of businesses.

To date more than 2000 Community members have had Bridges training

To date nearly 300 individuals struggling in poverty have gone through Getting Ahead.