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Driving The Dream (DTD) envisions a Mid‐South in which all people have equitable access to the fundamental resources and support needed to achieve their hopes and dreams. Our mission is to foster a DTD 2Gen community of practice where the people we serve are hopeful, resilient, and self‐sufficient.


  1. Sector integration. The local human services sector achieves greater integration and meaningful collaboration.  
  2. Culture transformation. The culture of the human services sector experiences significant transformation from one that is transaction‐and single domain‐focused to one that is family‐  centered and holistic in its way of serving customers and supporting them to greater economic security (i.e. aligned w 2Gen best practices).
  3. Promotion  of a common  framework and tools. The Transition  to Success™ (TTS™) model of service delivery and the  CoactionNet database and referral  tool have been adopted to unify the efforts of individual agencies in addressing the broad, multifaceted social needs people in poverty face.   
  4. Shared outcomes and measures. Partner agencies develop and adopt shared data to measure outcomes and inform collective action.
  5. Expanded services for families. Capacity is increased to serve more families in a comprehensive, holistic manner aligned with a 2Gen approach, leading to greater economic security for those families.

DTD builds the capacity of its Network Partner Agencies to prioritize integrated coordinated service delivery. We promote best practices and evidence based models, facilitate training and skill development for workforce, provide shared metrics and collective impact, promote quality improvement and innovation and maintains a supportive infrastructure.

2Gen for Tennessee

Driving The Dream is aligned with the two‐generation (“2Gen”) whole family service delivery model that has  been implemented within the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Known as ‘2Gen for Tennessee,’ this approach is consistent with the 2Gen service delivery model, which focuses on creating opportunities  for and addressing the needs of both adults and the children in their lives together. The 2Gen approach recognizes that families come in all different shapes and sizes and that families define themselves.  Our goal is to implement the 2Gen framework within the DTD partner agencies client intake and service delivery model, where all DTD programs are aligned and in synch – ensuring 2Gen tactics are applied when working  with all customers in all aspects of case management and service delivery.


  • Partners with nonprofits and other groups
  • Addresses poverty and quality of life issues
  • Forms a network of professionals and agencies serving individuals and families in poverty


  • Are trained to employ the Transitions to Success® care model
  • Utilize the Arizona Self-Sufficiency Matrix – learn more & see the matrix here.
  • Centralize information, access client data, track client progress, and make/receive referrals through CoactionNet (a local, shared, web-based database)


Care Coordination Hubs

DTD Care Coordination Hubs are agencies in the network that employ  Care Coordinators. These Care Coordinators work with individuals to create the “Map of My Dreams”  (care plan), refer families to appropriate services, and provide overall service coordination, coaching and  support. The Hubs are housed at partner agency sites alongside their core programs, which increases access and eases stress for families seeking DTD services.   Tier 1 services are delivered by Care Coordinators at the DTD Hubs. The level of support provided by the Care Coordinator is determined by the level of need and interest expressed by the family. Families with more complex needs will have access to more  intensive care coordination and supportive services. This level of service is the most labor‐ and time‐ intensive, and consumes the largest proportion of service hours and dollars.

Referral Network Partner Agencies

The DTD Referral Partners network is comprised of human services agencies that agree to adhere to  DTD guiding principles, adopt a common referral platform, participate in an enhanced online shared customer data system, and follow formalized policies and procedures for customer referrals and  warm hand‐offs. Their primary responsibilities include informing individuals of services available at the Hubs, referring appropriate individuals to the Hubs, referring individuals to other DTD Referral  Partners, and accepting eligible individuals referred through the DTD network. Tier 2 services are delivered by DTD Referral Network Partners. Referral Partners provide information about services available through DTD Hubs, make referrals to a Hub, and/or make direct referrals to  another desired service provider.

Outreach and Education Partner Agencies

Outreach and Education service partners actively reach out to individuals who could potentially benefit from  Driving The Dream, educate individuals about DTD and related resources, and connect individuals to a Care Coordination provider. Partners include agencies that frequently interface with clients, such as government  agencies providing benefits or direct client services, 2‐1‐1, hospitals, childcare providers, schools, first responders, crisis centers, outreach coalitions, etc.

Nearly 200,000 people are living in poverty in the Mid-South.

It hasn’t been a lack of effort that keeps them from achieving their goals, but rather a lack of access to resources and services.According to a study from the University of Memphis, the city of Memphis has a poverty rate of 26.2% which is 15% higher than the national average.

Several studies put Memphis at or near the top of large metro areas for overall poverty. Even more alarming, 44.7% of the city’s children live in poverty – the nation’s highest child poverty rate.

Without an organized and collaborative approach, cycles of generational poverty will continue. In response, United Way of the Mid-South has created Driving The Dream, a new, innovative system of care to address the effects of poverty and help people craft – and reach – the life of their dreams.

Poverty reduction not only transforms the lives of individuals and families, moving them from crisis to self-sufficiency; it also has the potential to be an economic engine. Instead of high poverty rates being a drag on the local economy, efficiencies in services and your targeted investment can boost economic growth.

A growing income gap and the presence of persistent poverty in our communities constrains economic opportunity for everyone. The economic gains of the past several years have not reduced poverty. The key to our economic prosperity is poverty reduction.

How it works and the expected impact
United Way estimates roughly 20,000 people in poverty can be promptly impacted by Driving The Dream in its early stages if we receive the support we need from donors, grantors, and other sources of philanthropy.

A coalition of local businesses who are all focused on investing in innovative poverty reduction solutions and economic growth strategies will create opportunities for us all. That means nearly 10% of Mid-Southerners in poverty can receive support now, and be connected to resources and opportunities to free them from generational cycles of poverty.

Families and individuals in poverty work with the Driving The Dream providers to create a “map of their dreams,” charting the order of steps, programs, and services necessary to help escape poverty and live the life of their dreams.