Anyone can help break the chains of poverty
W. Dennis Hodges Guest columnist November 30, 2012 12:58PM
W. Dennis Hodges
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:07AM
As one who majored in history, I have traced the lives of men and women who have come out of poverty to be productive and responsible citizens.
Their stories are remarkable.
As a result, I understand that every person should be treated as if he or she has something to offer, has something that could influence our lives, and make a difference in our society. Many actually do.
In theory, no one needs to be poor in finance or spirit. No one really needs to “fall through the cracks,” be on welfare or incarcerated.
This society has the potential to move many from the welfare rolls to the tax rolls. Yet, more than
7 million people in America are in this predicament. However, poverty and despair can be prevented or remedied through a simple “twist and turn” that brings an indigent person to a level of personal comfort and security.
In this regard, we should know that it costs far less to educate poor people than it does to “maintain them.” That is a purpose of the Bakery House ministry.
More needs to be done for even more caring people who can reach out to touch the hearts of impoverished men and women, and to bring out the potential within them. Are you among those who can do this?
It may seem hard to believe, but there are those who benefit from impoverished people. Area banks charge lofty fees when a person does not have the funds to cover a debit. Utilities and others charge late fees, and the ones who suffer the most from these charges are the poorer among us who can least afford them.
If someone goes the local emergency room without insurance — and there are a whole bunch of folks who do — the government pays the hospital.
Agencies for the poor hire large numbers of people to administer countless numbers of programs for them and, again, the government pays. So, it really is good economics to keep a sizable segment of society in poverty.
There are of course, agencies that work from paltry budgets and yet, serve the greater good. The Bakery House is one such example.
The Bakery House, a residence for indigent men in Gary, owned by Rebuilding the Breach Ministries Inc., serves these men by offering training in job and social skills.
Jesus said, “We will always have the poor among us” and, indeed, we will. The Christian world enters this week into a season of Advent and Christmas. Historically, this is the season of social charity and love, and a time for us to consider giving to causes that help people who need to find the will to break from the forces that hold them back.
There is a good reason for us to do this. All of society critically needs a new pool of persons who can become leaders and statesmen among us.
Within the circle of poverty, there are such persons. They just need a simple deed from one of us to realize their potential for productive live.
With prayers and contributions of time and-or money, all of us can make a visible difference in the lives of people who are in a quest for responsible citizenship.
If not Rebuilding the Breach Ministries, perhaps you can aid another social service that you favor and that could use your help.
Would you, at least, consider it?
On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Bakery House will host a benefit concert and dinner.
For more information, log on to rebuildingthebreach.org.
W. Dennis Hodges lives
in Merrillville and is a volunteer
special projects coordinator for
Rebuilding the Breach Ministries Inc.