It is difficult to disentangle from the trap of poverty.
Today, the voices of four people who know poverty spoke on behalf of the Ohio Faith Coalition for the Common Good. Behind these four, sixteen people from Church for All People gathered in solidarity.
This group assembled before the subcommittee of the Department of Health and Human Services. The four speakers provided a response to proposed state budget cuts and changes that would impact their lives.
Anna, the receptionist at Church for All People, shared her journey of human trafficking, poverty, and working multiple jobs to support herself and her child. She spoke of the cliff that keeps people in poverty, the immediate loss of benefits when a salary threshold is crossed. For many people, the one step forward, two steps back system of making more money and losing assistance leads to people falling down the ladder as they reach for the next rung.
After the four testimonies, one legislator asked, what would you recommend?
Anna confidently walked back to the podium, stood in a posture of strength, and articulately advocated for a gradual reduction in benefits, rather than an immediate removal. She shared how this would empower people by allowing them to budget, plan, and gain independence, instead of keeping them in a system of dependence.
The voices of faith communities were clearly spoken and heard. A vision of bringing closer the kingdom of God was realized.