Advocacy and Our Work
I am very fortunate to do the work that I do because it lays at the intersection of my passion and the world’s need. Not everyone is as fortunate and I count each day a blessing. I get to come to work and see our program participants and my coworkers, to facilitate trainings with other agencies, to speak with advocates across the city and commonwealth, or to share with legislators and their staff. I’ve been in homeless services for nearly 15 years and served in many roles from volunteer to program director.
I can safely say this time of year is bittersweet. It’s a time when so many of my neighbors, friends, and family are reminded about the hardships people who are unhoused face. Maybe it’s the cold weather or the families gathering for holidays, but most of us reflect on what we have and are more grateful in this season. That gratitude cannot be discounted and the help we receive from supporters like you is so deeply appreciated around the holidays.
The bittersweet part is that this time of year is a little too late to galvanize folks for legislative change. See, my neighbors, friends, and family have a very individualized focus this time of year and, as such, desire to do as much as they can right now to help people in need. But when we really need them is during city budget negotiations, when legislators are discerning bills, and or when people at the federal level want to reduce payments to those living with disabilities. By November all the budgets are set. The legislators are done taking meetings. And the hope for substantial change at local, state, and federal levels is all but done. I’m reminded of how large corporations are the greatest polluters, but make consumers feel like they are personally responsible for killing sea life by not using a metal straw. The 40 million gallons of oil dumped in the gulf have more of an impact than how I consume my drink, sir!
I’m reminded of how large corporations are the greatest polluters, but make consumers feel like they are personally responsible for killing sea life by not using a metal straw. The 40 million gallons of oil dumped in the gulf have more of an impact than how I consume my drink, sir!
What I’m getting at is that poverty is a choice – not chosen by the poor but one that has been made and perpetuated by our legislators. And, once a year when the air starts to get chillier we, regular people, are guilted into sharing what little we have because, for some reason, the richest country in the world can’t seem to house, feed, clothe, and care for our most vulnerable. And each year the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the extremely impoverished grows wider and wider. We desperately need your help today filling our pantry, but we also need your help tomorrow reaching out to the lawmakers and letting them know we want to make a different choice. Maybe for every canned good you send our way, please consider writing a letter or making a call to the people who can end this need. There are a lot of elected officials who want to keep playing political games, don’t really get anything accomplished, tweak the system so they can stay in office, or use their power and influence to ensure corporations making record-breaking profits don’t have to pay taxes. There are even some of them that have become millionaires by jamming up legislation that would tax billionaires while more and more people, good regular everyday folks like you, see the pain and anguish poverty inflicts on so many of our citizens.