- Get close enough to listen to their perspectives on what would be helpful. Trust that people know what they need.
- Help Remove the Barrier.
- Ask yourself: “Is it in my hands to remove the barrier they are facing?” If it is, take action—even if it is not in your job description.
- If it is not in your hands to remove the poverty barrier, think about who in your organization or network may be able to help. Think about who in your community has expertise or gets a paycheck to resolve the issue being faced. Do not stop until you find a connection that will help. Then call and make the connection. For optimal results, provide a personal introduction between the two parties.
- Vote and hold elected officials accountable to address structural, systemic causes of poverty. Ask the following questions of the people who want your vote:
- What is your plan to address the housing affordability crisis? Provide them with the facts: According to HUD, there is not one town in America where a person earning minimum wage can afford a modest apartment.
- What is your plan to address the hunger crisis in this wealthy country? It is unacceptable that 54 million people and 18 million children face hunger while Congress has a 40K budget for office furniture.
- What is your plan to ensure all schools are the "good schools?" The fact that we can ask a real estate agent, "Where are the good schools?" makes it clear that not all children have the same chance—neither did their parents or their parents.
- How will you ensure that people living in the crisis of poverty have access to preventative care and dental care? Currently, one-third of Americans do not have access to medical care and 74 million do not have access to dental care.
- What is your plan to address the transportation crisis? We do not have transportation that can get people in poverty where they need to be when they need to be there. Passing the law that you can not drive without insurance simply created a tow truck industry and filled our courtrooms with people who have suspended licenses.
- How will you change the fact that most people in poverty are working more than one job and can not afford rent?
Let's unite and fight the poverty, not the children and adults who live in it.
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