Who Will Help the Poorest Among Us?

Posted: June 2, 2009 in Justice, Miscellaneous

My Summer Office

We summer interns have a lot to learn before we’re turned loose to help the homeless, and today we were inundated with some serious information. And it was depressing.

I am not new to the plight of the poor. Much of my past experiences came from two places: addressing poverty housing through Habitat for Humanity, and dealing with folks dropping by the church asking for help while I was a preacher. I have heard plenty of tragic stories. Still, today was both shocking and depressing. If you are desperately poor, the government of these United States is not a friendly place to turn.

There was a huge anti-welfare campaign in the 1990s, and welfare reform was the result. And it worked. Poor people sure aren’t going to get any help from the government. I find this especially tragic for a very significant reason: no one picked up the slack.

I have been a part of churches who do some to help the poor, but I have heard more times than I care to remember that poverty in the community isn’t the church’s problem. I have been a part of community organizations dedicated to helping the poor, but I have never been a part of one whose purpose was to care for those in the deepest poverty. This summer I will be involved with an organization dedicated to getting these poorest of folks the services they are entitled to as American citizens. I have a word that accurately summarizes the extent of these services they are entitled to receive, but I try to refrain from using that sort of language on the blog.

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