Not sure who is out there in FB land looking at this information .... but if you want to help the poor in your city, here is an example of the continuum of care that is most often missing in our cities. It is the pragmatic way of assessing who we are trying to help, what resources are available to help them, and thus what holes exist in our cities ability to help the poor. How can we be most effective with our efforts if we don't know this information? Just a question. It is my belief that the local church should drive and have this developed for their community since they are the center of the community where they exist, or at least that is their biblical role. What do you think?
Thought for the day ....
If your city does not have a continuum of care, something that clearly shows who the poor are in your city (demographics), what their needs are (these are generic but make the point), what agencies are providing what help (this is an assessment of all the legitimate help for the poor), and thus what gaps are found in your city (and what agencies might be able to help fill those holes), then the process to help the poor is limited by the cities underst...anding of the real issues. Without this continuum we are trying to fix something without truly understanding the problems!
What is frustrating is this is not how we (leaders, those with means) operate in money making ventures. It is a short cut we think we can take with poverty because we don't really have the time to "figure it all out." That doesn't mean our help isn't helping either ....not at all .... just means we are likely NOT getting to the root of the problem. We offer band aides when surgery is needed. Would that work in your life if you needed surgery and someone wanted to give you a band aide?
What am I doing about it? I founded Urban Outreach!
I am offering training on the issues of poverty so more and more people understand the real needs of the poor (in the US). Urban Outreach also know how to build a continuum of care for a city (and there are others like UO). But the city has to want it enough to spend money to build such a continuum. And that brings us to the problem! Typically it is not a priority because most of the people making the decisions about this don't understand they even need it! Thus the pithy quote:
"It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem." Malcom Forbes
Engaging Poverty 101, 202, 303 & 404.
The first step to impacting poverty in a local city is to understand the continuum of care. A continuum of care will tell those wanting to help: who needs care (demographics of the poor in the city), what kind of care they need, what facilities are available in the city providing what kind of services, and where the gaps in services are based upon the need. Without this continuum of care the care is meeting needs without understanding exactly what the needs are - in the community. And that brings us to the problem ... most cities do not have this continuum of care. That doesn't mean their (or our) efforts are in vain .. not at all ... it just means we are not being as efficient as knowing exactly who needs what and who is providing for what in our community.
Did you know?
One can avoid poverty by:
1. Graduating from high school....
2. Waiting to get married after 21 and not having children till after being married.
3. Having a full time job.
If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.
From Engaging Poverty 202.
Ok ... so I was delivering my Engaging Poverty 101 training yesterday in Rock Hill. I have trained about 100 people. The mayor of Rock Hill was in this training too. Anyway, I made a comment worth sharing (in my humble opinion!). I said for anyone who truly wants to help the poor, the first priority all of my experience has taught me (starting Hoskins Park ministries, living with and amongst the poor) is training to understand the poor we want to help. Without proper training we are wasting time and money. That is why I have developed Engaging Poverty 101, 202, 303, and 404. It is that important!