Fighting Poverty with Faith
Every day, congregations serve individuals in need within our communities. We run soup kitchens, partner with the Interfaith Housing Network to provide shelter for the homeless in our synagogues and volunteer with programs like Meals on Wheels. But our efforts to sustain our chevreliving in poverty must be complemented with a serious plan of action and commitment from our political leaders to reduce the number of those in need.
Fighting Poverty with Faithis building a nationwide, interfaith movement to cut domestic poverty in half by 2020. The RAC works tirelessly year-round to reduce poverty, but unless we come together with other faithful partners our reach is limited. Coordinated interfaith action is essential in our work to overcome poverty in the United States.
The annual Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization focuses on addressing root causes of poverty. We enlist the moral authority and organizing power of the faith community to ensure meeting the needs of those living in poverty is a national priority. This mobilization utilizes the strength of the coordinated faith community to move individuals and communities to action and advocate for clear, immediate policy solutions to address the root causes of poverty.
This year’s theme is “Building Opportunity through Affordable Housing for All.” Experts agree: The number one reason people are homeless is due to a lack of affordable housing. We have the infrastructure to ammend this. We definitely have the need. What we’re lacking is the political will. Funding for federal programs that provide housing assistance for low-income people is constantly under attack. Congress created the National Housing Trust Fund in 2008 to build, preserve, and rehabilitate low-income housing. Unfortunately, since then, the Fund has lost almost all of its funding. For affordable housing to be realized, the National Housing Trust Fund must be guaranteed a steady stream of funding, one not subject to political whims and economic downturns (for those are the times when we actually need the Fund the most).
We encourage congregations to take action and participate in a Poverty Simulation, Habitat for Humanity build, screen the 60 minutes special “Hard Times Generation,” or help at an emergency shelter program. Events are happening nationwide throughout the week! You can find an event near you here. And while you’re already on your computer, click on over the RAC Chai Impact Action Center and urge your Representative and Senators to introduce and pass legislation that would provide funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.
Housing is a foundation upon which self-sufficiency can be built. Without a place to live, a person cannot begin to take charge of his or her life. Help make this first step a realityfor millions of Americans.
Image courtesy of Fighting Poverty with Faith.