Our Voices United! Can You Hear Us???
We welcome Jennifer Hernandez-Reyes to Poverty’s Edge, Jennifer has recently been named the Communication and Reporting Coordinator at the Sixth Street Shelter (SSS) and former Caseworker for Turner Street Apartments at the SSS. Through the years at Community Action, she has witness the importance of the community’s voice in public discourse and the future of the community. Congratulations on your new position and thanks for your contribution!
As I hear the news talk about our economy, I realize that the people we serve continue to move further down the list of priorities for this country. We see articles in the news talking about debt ceiling and credit ratings. My daily conversations include real ceilings falling down when a landlord doesn’t follow code. Resident talk to me about ratings in the childcare system, ratings in their children’s education and the list can go on.
The state budget cuts added up to more than $960 million, money that was utilized on human services, childcare, medical assistance and education, some of the most important resources that we need for residents to be successful in our programs. Without these services, our families would not have the support to continue their dreams of self-sufficiency. The issues missed in these are far removed from the folks who are trying to get by one day at a time.
It has become evident, now more than ever, that we need their voices in the fight against poverty. We can no longer be their only voice; they need to add theirs to the discussion. We recently had a client sit down for an interview with the Parkland Press. Yes, it is a small paper, but maybe it brought our story to a new audience; one that may not know about our shelter or Community Action’s programs.
Our residents start to realize that they can change the world while they are in our programs. They are struggling no matter what the economy looks like. But they have become an important piece to making their story known. I invite you to learn more about our programs and the people we serve. It makes for a better story and gives us the support we need to go to our legislators and fight for their rights.