Weathering the Long Recession With Hope

Many more Americans are now finding themselves among rising poverty statistics due to an unyielding recession. As of May 2011 new jobless numbers indicate we are still losing jobs. We have lost 8 million jobs over the course of this recession and many jobs are being replaced with lower pay and without providing any benefits to workers.

As we wake up to the new reality of staggering jobless numbers and the unemployed at near all-time highs we can react with resolve and find creative ways to make it through and help our loved ones and neighbors make it through. It is vital that community members are proactive as best as they are able to be. In order to be proactive people do need resources and information.

Community Action Agencies are on the front lines in the poverty crisis.  CAAs assist people in keeping afloat as we all wait for the economy to pick back up. Community Action Agencies focus on innovative programs that temporarily meet the needs of low-income individuals. In Utah many of our food pantries are run by a CAA as well as jobs, housing, utility assistance, weatherization and Headstart Kindergarten programs.

In recent months Community Action Agencies are being inundated with new clients who have never felt the pain of poverty before. Many middle class Americans are struggling for the first time as they watch the prosperity they once took for granted slip from their desperate grasp.

It is vital that individuals think clearly through this crisis. A good starting point may be to make a list of needs and wants and evaluate from there. Many of us heard stories from our grandparents about how they stayed alive through adverse economic times. It’s time we take those stories to heart and redefine the ways we live. Being poor can be as much a state of mind as it is a statistic.

In the coming weeks we will post tips on how families and individuals can make what they have go farther. Being poor is difficult but feeling helpless isn’t a given. We can empower ourselves with information on strategies to make it through as individuals, as families, as communities.

Stop by a Community Action Agency today to get some ideas for waiting out this financial crisis.


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