How to Create an Increased Focus on Local Poverty
Ohio Mennonite Conference Reduce Poverty Resource Team
POVERTY: Poverty may be defined as the lack of basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, security and opportunity.
1. Define your “local area”
a. Neighborhood, city area (Ward, etc.), town, county, etc.
b. Define the boundaries by streets, county roads, etc.
c. Define not to exclude but to develop your target area.
2. Define poverty in your “local area”.
a. Lack of food (daily lunch, etc.)
b. Lack of shelter (homelessness, transient areas, etc.)
c. Lack of clothing (work clothing, dress clothing for job interview, etc.)
d. Lack of health care (no insurance, use of neighborhood clinics, etc.)
e. Lack of education (no GED, college opportunity, etc.)
f. Lack of security (local crime rate, unsafe areas to walk in, etc.)
g. Lack of opportunity (limited entry-level jobs, hopelessness)
Now prioritize the critical, most pressing needs from the list above.
3. Identify the services / resources needed to meet the local needs.
a. Define existing services that specifically address these needs in that area or that area available to meet these needs, even in a partial way. What are people or groups doing now?
b. Identify other churches and/or groups who are or can assist with these efforts.
4. Communicate the existing local resources/programs to those in need.
a. Flyers, public notices, media (radio, etc.), local meetings.
b. Local area canvassing by going door-to-door.
c. Develop a website for communications.
d. Other ________________________________________________
5. Work to establish programs to meet the needs where no current resource exists.
6. Track the progress and the volume of participation/use in the programs/efforts provided to better understand the volume of need and work to continue to address it.