Transition to Success

The Helpline Center is initiating a pioneering program in 2024: the implementation of an evidence-based standard of care to treat the condition of poverty, known as Transition to SuccessTM.

This model was developed by Dr. Marcella Wilson, drawn from her extensive experience leading both large healthcare companies and the largest charity organization in Detroit. Her story is detailed in her book ‘Diagnosis Poverty: A new approach to understanding and treating an epidemic.’ Dr. Wilson's work underscores a critical truth: poverty is not merely a lack of financial resources, but rather a multifaceted result of an individual's unique social determinants of health. These determinants encompass the environments in which people live, work, and grow, exerting profound influence over their physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Adopting this model within our Helpline Center support programs, within HCNC, and across multi-sector partner organizations represents a mindset shift in how we approach poverty intervention as a community. Poverty is not a character flaw, but a treatable condition caused by adverse social determinants of health. Addressing the root causes of poverty will help us improve well-being and meet our mission of making lives better by giving support, offering hope and creating connections all day, every day. Join us in embracing this effort to create a more equitable and prosperous future for our community.


“As with any other condition, such as medical or mental, the treatment for the condition of poverty too requires intervention based on science and access to viable, reliable support systems, as well as ensuring that individuals have a clear understanding of what recovery looks like in their lives. Poverty is not something to ‘rise above’ any more than exposure to lead or asbestos. Just as we treat these conditions without judgment, so too must we treat the condition of poverty.”

– Dr. Marcella Wilson