3 Ways You Can End Poverty

Discover Key Mindset Shifts from Michael and Kimberly Miller of Empire Dreams
Rising up to a new future with Empire Dreams
Family Union Insurance Kansas City

Have you ever wanted to help someone in poverty but not known where to start?

Poverty feels overwhelming. When we meet someone who feels stuck in their situation, we want to help but often have no idea how. What can you actually do to end poverty?

Michael and Kimberly Miller started the nonprofit Empire Dreams with that goal in mind: ending poverty. And they have discovered what works. Empire Dreams focuses on empowering people who live in the urban core by enhancing the community’s relationships, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Before starting Empire Dreams, Michael and Kimberly spent years working in nonprofits—and grew frustrated with the lack of results. They saw that although nonprofits provided programs, often those programs enabled people to remain stuck in poverty mindsets. After years of being discouraged, the couple discovered a better path forward.

“Kansas City is littered with endless nonprofits,” Michael told Faith Horizons. “Unless something is from the heart of God—built by Him, structured by Him, envisioned by Him—I don’t have the energy to do it. But we really felt like God gave us a vision for organic community development.”

“A few years ago, the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night,” Kimberly told Faith Horizons. “He was like, ‘Hey, Kim, I want you to start an organization called Empire Dreams,’ and he told me what it was.”

The couple dove in, creating Empire Dreams. Through their ministry, Kim and Michael have learned three key mindset shifts needed to empower someone to get out of poverty.

  • Believe in them. When it comes to ending poverty, we can easily slip into the mindset, “They’ll always be this way. They can’t change.” But most people can only change once they know someone believes they can. A person only leaves poverty if someone believes they can.
  • Don’t disqualify them. Often when working with low-income communities, we think of reasons why they can’t improve their situation. But when we mentally disqualify the very people we are trying to help, we become part of the problem, not the solution. Refuse the temptation to think of reasons why someone can’t accomplish their dreams or change their life circumstances. We all need someone to see us for who we are created to be, outside of the life situations that hold us down.
  • Show them a path forward. When a dream seems unattainable, break the dream into smaller, attainable steps. For example, no one can jump from unemployment to a million-dollar business plan in one leap. But instead of disqualifying someone, show them a path forward. Maybe they don’t have a business plan, but they can start a two-year apprenticeship and attend a free business class. Of if someone wants to be a homeowner, first talk about budgeting. Help them open a savings account, track their income, and set aside some income each month toward a down payment.

In all these mindset shifts, the key is focusing on one person at a time. Over years of ministry, Michael and Kimberly have seen the power of helping the individual.

“Individuals make up communities,” Kimberly told Faith Horizons. “If we’re going to address the systems and the structures that keep certain communities from having an opportunity to start at the same starting line, we have to start with the individual.”

Instead of becoming overwhelmed with the daunting problem of poverty, focus on one person—believe in them, refuse to disqualify them, and show them a path toward their dreams.

For more information on empowering Kansas City’s urban core, visit

Empire Dreams.

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