Getting Ahead Programs

Newsletters from Tucson

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    Irene Frechette
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    See Tucson’s September Newsletter in the Documents Section September 2016

    Dear Vincentians and Friends:
    Attached you will find a PDF file with the September 2016 OUT OF POVERTY… Systemic Change newsletter.
    The Systemic Change model proposed by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul correlates well with the Bridges out of Poverty construct. Both extend their reach beyond addressing the root-causes of poverty at the individual level and include improving communities and neighborhoods. As we delve further into this work, as we continue to reflect on it and introduce it to various audiences, we find ourselves refining and streamlining our understanding and articulation of Systemic Change.
    The crucial difference between Systemic Change and the rest of the work of the Society is that in Systemic Change, the initiative to address the root-causes of poverty comes from people in poverty. Vincentians are standing by, acting as facilitators, mentors, navigators, and trainers. They are there to walk with people in poverty, to listen to their stories and intervene only when requested with information, suggestions or, sometimes, concrete help. Vincentians never tell people in poverty what to do, nor do for people in poverty what they can do for themselves.
    In this issue, after the opening prayer and spiritual reflection, we report on the sharing by Getting Ahead graduates, mentors and facilitators at the Diocesan Seminarian Convocation, with the powerful talk by Rose Tederous included in its entirety (page 3-6). Then, we have the announcement of the Interfaith Poverty Solutions event, which will be held on November 6 (page 6-7).
    On pages 8-11 an article explains the complex relationship between wages and government benefits eligibility and suggests that an effective advocacy for one should go hand in hand with advocacy for the other.
    On pages 11 through 14, we cover our current advocacy efforts: on electrical rates in Tucson and on predatory lending in Arizona and nationwide. On predatory lending, see also the review of the book “How the Other Half Banks” by Mehrsa Baradaran, which was presented at the recent SVdP national assembly.
    Finally, we conclude the newsletter with information on Las Artes, a unique Getting Ahead program run by Pima County and with the announcement of a special meeting “Why Poverty Matters to Community Sustainability”, which will be organized by Pima County on October 7.
    Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.
    God bless you!
    Systemic Change Team

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