Government truly wants to help the poor? These charities show how

posted at 5:25 pm on September 29, 2011 by Tina Korbe

If, as Valerie Jarrett says, the government is supposed to lift people out of poverty, what’s the best way to do that? Hint: Not with handouts. Since the War on Poverty began in 1964, welfare spending has skyrocketed, but the official poverty rate has barely changed.

As I am oh-so-fond of repeating, research demonstrates a predictive relationship between earned success and happiness. Government handouts, by their very nature, can’t deliver the outcome of earned success — but, as it turns out, private charities that seek to teach self-reliance can. What’s more: They do.

Today on The Foundry, my good friend Todd Thurman spotlights the four charities that have achieved finalist status for the WORLD magazine Hope Award for Effective Compassion. Each organization — each from a different region of the country — offers job training and work opportunities to help low-income people escape poverty and achieve lasting self-reliance:

  • Challenge House in Hopkinsville, Ky., connects members of the low-income community with local businesses through its Jobs for Life program.
  • Bowery Mission Women’s Center in New York City offers a career counseling and job placement program for women in need.
  • Victory Trade School in Springfield, Mo., certifies previously unemployed men in seven areas of food production and restaurant management in just one year, equipping them for careers in the culinary arts.
  • Hope Now for Youth in Fresno, Calif., provides life skills classes and one-on-one mentoring for young men previously caught up in gangs and street violence.

The programs have seen results. Hope Now, for example, has placed 1,700 at-risk young men into first-time jobs. Victory Trade School has an 89.5 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent job placement rate. In five years, 60 women have graduated from Bowery. Folks who find a job through Challenge House’s Jobs for Life are likely to stay in them — because they receive follow-up phone calls from the ministry. The numbers might be small, but the solutions are real and lasting. With government programs, the numbers are large, but the results are often tenuous.
As Thurman explains, the government would do well to learn from the examples of private charities and at the very least not stand in the way of the worthy work they do:

WORLD Magazine’s contest provides a glimpse into the world of faith-based organizations that are successfully assisting the poor and providing an effective alternative to the welfare state. The success and effectiveness of local organizations like these should be recognized and their position in civil society protected.

Private, faith-based institutions play a profound role in alleviating poverty by addressing the relational and social breakdown—like abuse, broken families, and addiction—that so often leads to material need. By understanding the root causes of poverty and accurately assessing the actual living conditions of the poor, policymakers can begin to implement effective antipoverty policy.

Likewise, policymakers must be careful to defend the conscience rights of these groups to believe and act according to their deeply held beliefs—the same beliefs that spur them to take care of the poor in the first place—and not curb their ability to serve with unfair hiring regulations or perverse interpretations of non-discrimination laws.

The answer to poverty — or any social problem — is not to do more of what doesn’t work. It’s to do more of what does.


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Government doesn’t want to eliminate poverty.

Government creates poverty.

Government wants to grow itself.

fossten on September 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Eh, giving people debit cards that allow them to buy smokes and Twinkies, and then reminding them to vote demorat in the next election is far more effective in fighting poverty than some work counseling program.

Bishop on September 29, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Government poverty programs have never been about helping the poor, they’ve been about giving politicians that self-satisfied feeling that they’ve done something good (even if it doesn’t work) so they can point to it come election-time.

Meric1837 on September 29, 2011 at 5:30 PM

C’mon, Ed… you can’t trust these types of groups.

They might try to sneak in something about God… or personal responsibility… or the satisfaction and dignity of becoming a contributing member of society. /sarc

VastRightWingConspirator on September 29, 2011 at 5:30 PM

C’mon, Ed Tina… you can’t trust these types of groups.

They might try to sneak in something about God… or personal responsibility… or the satisfaction and dignity of becoming a contributing member of society. /sarc

VastRightWingConspirator on September 29, 2011 at 5:30 PM

FIFY

fossten on September 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM

The answer to poverty — or any social problem — is not to do more of what doesn’t work. It’s to do more of what does.

AMEN!!!!

capejasmine on September 29, 2011 at 5:37 PM

2/3rds of those living under the poverty line have cable or satellite TV. Which I don’t. So I’m what you’d call “needy”. Perhaps I could gather a collection so I could get cable TV. I prefer that to satellite as the idea of satellites sending signals to my house scares me. So if it’s all right with Tina, I’ll post my information here. Let the charity flow. Let the COMPASSION flow. For the poor. For the least of these. That’s me!

Paul-Cincy on September 29, 2011 at 5:39 PM

“WORLD Magazine’s contest provides a glimpse into the world of faith-based organizations that are successfully assisting the poor and providing an effective alternative to the welfare state.”

Tina…

… you know you just sent a very cold shiver up the spine of Obowma’s ideology, don’t you?

Don’t be surprised if you start getting prank phone calls in the middle of the night…

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Tina…

… you know you just sent a very cold shiver up the spine of Obowma’s ideology, don’t you?

Don’t be surprised if you start getting prank phone calls in the middle of the night…

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2011 at 5:47 PM

It’s likely.

I just reported her to Attaaaaaaack Waaaaaaaatch.

fossten on September 29, 2011 at 5:48 PM

This was another initiative that Bush championed but the current administration dismissed out of hand.

suburbanite on September 29, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Government doesn’t want to eliminate poverty.

Government creates poverty.

Government wants to grow itself.

fossten on September 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

There’s a great line in the movie: Meet John Doe

A Relief Administrator responds to people helping themselves instead of relying on the government:

“People are going off relief! If this keeps up, I’ll be out of a job!”

Government power is directly proportional to government dependency – if people weren’t dependent on the government, they would be powerless and out on the street.

Make no mistake, the National Socialist Left doesn’t want to solve this problem – they want to make it worse – all the better for their power base.

Chip on September 29, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Government doesn’t want to eliminate poverty.

Government creates poverty.

Government wants to grow itself.

fossten on September 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

This is exactly what I was going to say. I tell everyone I know on a regular basis that it’s in the best interest of government at large, to lift people out of poverty. However, for liberals, keeping people down is the factory from which class warfare is waged. Keeping the poor on the dole, the blacks on the plantation, and generally stifling upward mobility is the liberals game plan.

You can be as successful as we say you can. And only as much as suits our needs, keeps the serfs happy, and ultimately, threatens our power the least.

It’s like the opposite of the Laffer curve. There is a point where people have too much, depend on government too little, and thus liberal nanny statists begin to lose power and the balance shifts towards self determination.

That’s the the point where Obama begins to swoop in and begin taxing your stash to add to his.

preallocated on September 29, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Expose this to all you know.

In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.

It’s part of the administration’s campaign to eradicate “food insecure households” by improving access and increasing participation in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Incidentally, the program was recently changed to SNAP to eliminate the stigma that comes with a name like food stamps. Just a few months ago the federal agency that administers the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), launched a multi-million-dollar initiative to recruit more food-stamp participants even though the number of
recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years.

Expose these impertinent taxpayer exploiters and explode them out of Wash. DC. Let them eat bread. Enough cakes on your dole.

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Since the War on Poverty began in 1964, welfare spending has skyrocketed, but the official poverty rate has barely changed.

Yeah, but look how many votes it buys them every two years.

GarandFan on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

And listen to this man, once homeless, on how he got turned around. He got arrested!

From Homeless to Homeowner (about 2 minutes in)

PattyJ on September 29, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Yep, putting out some milk and cat food on the back porch works great way to deal with the stray cat population… In creating more stray cats.

drfredc on September 29, 2011 at 8:09 PM

The government’s job is to create conditions conducive to the “poor” grabbing their bootstraps and pulling themselves out of their “poverty.” You cannot “give” a person a trip out of American levels of poverty and have it mean anything compared to facilitating that trip enabling the person’s own industry and efforts.

{^_^}

herself on September 30, 2011 at 4:21 AM