Mobility Mentoring ® is an evidence-based, internationally renowned approach to overcoming poverty developed by EMPath ( of Boston in partnership with Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child ( and the US Partnership for Mobility from Poverty ( It is based on the latest brain research across many organizations, taking into account how the stresses and traumas of poverty can keep people mired in it.

Mobility Mentoring’s ® theory of change, the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency, sets and furthers the attainment of participant-set goals in the domains of housing, career, financial management, education, and family well-being.  Uniquely, the program maintains that economic self-sufficiency requires progress in each of these areas.  The Bridge to Self-Sufficiency also functions as a proven measure of progress toward goal achievement and economic independence.

For at least a year, 30 trained Brisben Center volunteer mentors meet one-on-one twice a month with 30 committed heads of household.  The relationships begin in the shelter setting, and then follow the program participants as they transition into housing.  Mentors will skillfully coach participants to improve focus, finances, and future-oriented, decision-making abilities so that optimal progress continues to be made beyond the life of the program.

Moving out of poverty is no longer a short process of following a simple roadmap to a good job. It has become a lengthy, complex navigational challenge requiring individuals to rely on strong executive function (EF) skills (impulse control, working memory, and mental flexibility) in order to effectively manage life’s competing demands and optimize their decisions over many years.

 –Elisabeth Babcock, President & CEO of EMPath


Using Brain Science to Transform Human Services and Increase Personal Mobility from Poverty

Mobility Mentoring® Coaches work one-on-one with low-income program participants twice a month for a year. After 6 hours of initial training, they commit to 4-6 hours of 1:1 coaching per month. Mobility Mentoring®Coaches are compassionate, open to learning, know how to handle challenging situations, and eager to coach an adult program participant to establish a pathway to economic self-sufficiency. A volunteer application and background check is required. Trainings are offered on an ongoing basis.

Email: for more information.