The Bridge to Self-Sufficiency is a special tool to chart a path to economic self-sufficiency. “The Bridge” was developed by EMPath and is backed by emerging brain science. Mobility Mentoring uses The Bridge to Self-Sufficiency in order to help families achieve long-term economic mobility. The Bridge helps families plan, reach, and sustain their personal goals in five essential areas: family stability, well-being, education and training, financial management, and employment and career management.

The Bridge to Self-Sufficiency takes a comprehensive approach, because difficulties in one part of someone’s life can create difficulties in another. Fortunately, the opposite holds true, as well. Success in one part of someone’s life can reinforce success in another.

Family Stability

  • The participant is spending less than 30% of her after-tax income on housing.
  • The needs of the participant’s children are being met and do not prevent the participant from pursuing school or work.


  • The participant is fully engaged in work and family, and no health or behavioral issues prevent him or her from pursuing school or employment.
  • The participant is part of a strong social network, serving as an advocate, organizer, and support to others.

A person wearing glasses and a plaid shirt sitting at a table next to a window. They are looking at what appears to be a phone. There's some papers with charts on them and a calculator on the table. Sunlight is streaming through the window.

Financial Management

  • The participant has savings equal to three months’ worth of living expenses.
  • The participant has good credit and is managing debts in balance with income.

Education and Training

  • The participant has achieved a level of post-secondary education and/or training that has prepared her for a job paying enough to support her family.

Employment and Career Management

  • The participant’s earnings from his or her job are greater than the real costs of basic living expenses for her family.