There is a saying “the poor will always be among you”. This proves to be true whether we like it or not. That’s what a universal truth is; something that’s true no matter what we think or feel about it.
Poor people are all around us and they are not just the ones who are experiencing homelessness or hunger. Many of our environments are not fit for people to live in much less children and our seniors. Food deserts persist in these communities causing nutritional deficiencies stunting both physical and mental growth.
Those who find it difficult or impossible to care for themselves, these are the people who we are called to serve and who we are responsible for their care. A countless number of non-profits, church organizations, and community activists serve our nation by helping and being there for so many of those in need. And yet so many are still suffering.
I see them. You see them too. You know, like me, we should do better as a society. We should not have to see the same broken people each day on the sides of our streets, barely existing. We should do more for them than offer our thoughts and prayers and or the occasional dollar or two.
Our children should not be 40 something in the USA when it comes to educational achievement and outcomes. Is it acceptable that Metro schools only has 77% of males who will graduate? 12.5% of students drop out. Hispanics are the group with the largest number of dropouts.
Tennessee also makes the Top Ten in states with the highest percentage of children living in poverty. We come in at #9 at just over 20%. Again, I ask you, is this acceptable to us as a society?
Another important group to remember who suffers in poverty and lack of care are our seniors and especially those who are veterans. At this point in their life, they should be celebrated and lauded for their many years of service to others. We need to assure our seniors are cared for properly and have access to resources to assist them. Our veterans are heroes and should be treated as such with the best level of care and resources for their families.
And finally, we need to assure that our communities, our families, have what they need to not just survive, but thrive! Let’s give families, our children, a future they can believe in! Let’s establish a living wage and help people gain new workforce skills, certifications, and help achieving educational goals. By increasing wages housing becomes more affordable and the resiliency of the family increases. Resiliency creates stability. A stable foundation for the next generation.
“To those whom much has been given…….”