Stamp Out Poverty !
After I learned what this Social Work thing was that Baylor moved downtown in the former First National Bank building, I wanted to investigate it further.
Jeff Wall, City of Waco director of housing and community development, introduced me to two intern students assigned to him. Stephen Bayes and Kasey Ashenfelter.
Then he invited me to sit in on one of their meetings. Kasey was going to conduct it he said.
I did. I wanted to know more about what they were doing. It was in the basement meeting room at city hall. About six of us gathered about the table.The subject: How to stamp out poverty in Waco, Texas.
As you could imagine this is a big subject. Seems they had some previous meetings and were starting to get a handle on it.
The talk was about getting more sidewalks. Filling in the vacant lots with homes. Try to get a mix of low income folks and ones with better incomes. Waco CDC has been helping by building economical houses in some of these areas. Of course, the subject of building codes came up. Even eminent domain.
There was talk about working with the neighborhood associations. I jumped in on this since I was president of Brookview Neighborhood Association twice and I think we made a lot of progress. The city was completing S. J. Gutherie park when I got the job. We continued to fight these same problems. Working with Baylor twice a year Steppin’ Out has made a big impact on making the area a cleaner, neater place. We brought in city departments heads like police, fire department and code enforcement people. We tried printing our news letters in English and Spanish. Not sure this helped. Melett Harrison at city hall was very helpful.
I’m sure this group will try some of the same things. As I had to go the talk was about focusing in on one mixed neighborhood and really see what can happen with everyone working together.
This will be a big victory if they can stamp out poverty in that one neighborhood. No doubt having a good paying job will go a long ways.
We told them about Shepherd’s Heart giving free food items to about 400 folks on the third Saturday of each month in the Brookview Neighborhood. This probably helps for a week, but doesn’t really solve the problems. Give us your suggestions for stamping out poverty in Waco, Texas. email@example.com
Digging in further the poverty issue has been funded by a $150,000 grant from the Bridgeway Charitable Foundation. Want to learn more about all this? There’s a booklet at the new Social Media place on it, called Community Connection. I found in it the question: With so many churches in Waco, why do we have any poverty?
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