Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Evidence of fraying social safety net

An editorial by Tim Marx the CEO of Catholic Charities indicated how they are now for the first time in 30 years they are having to turn homeless away from their Dorothy Day shelter, due to such tremendous demand (Our capacity to help has been stretched to its limits).

The economic difficulties being experienced by many hit close to home for me yesterday.  I said final farewells to our next door neighbors, who lost their home of 15 years. They could no longer afford their mortgage payments. This family of five will now be renting a home. Later in the day I visited with a bright and delightful man from the northside of Minneapolis who was very soon to be losing his job of the past 10 years with the Salvation Army, due to cutbacks in staffing.

It has becoming increasingly difficult for people to find work that pays enough to support themselves and their families. It is staggering to think that over 37 percent of African-Americans and 39 percent of American Indians are living in poverty here in Minnesota.  As Tim Marx suggests, it is going to take a balance of compassion and common sense to get people back to work.  Hand outs aren't the answer nor is simply cutting taxes or relying and business for all of the solutions.

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