Why is it that in the one of the wealthiest areas of the world, we have so much poverty? And what can we do about it? To discover answers to these questions and to develop an action plan to respond, I invite readers to join Catholic Charities Out of Poverty Summit on October 14th at The Tech Museum.
For many of us, it may be hard to see the causes and effects of poverty in our community, in part, because we live in separate neighborhoods and go to separate schools, pray in separate churches and work in separate jobs. Our current booming economy exacerbates the disparities, with tech jobs and investments doing very well, while middle class jobs are diminishing and those in poverty can’t earn wages sufficient to make ends meet. Poverty in Silicon Valley is made worse the high cost of housing, the deteriorating transportation infrastructure, the lack of access to quality childcare and pre-K, insufficient access to affordable nutritious food, the effects of poverty on mental and physical health, and the separate and unequal education systems that fail to prepare a workforce skilled for 21st century jobs. These challenges can seem overwhelming.
We have the means to solve each of those challenges, but there is not one single path to success. There are many innovative promising solutions that have the potential to go to scale, and there are policy changes that can make a difference for generations to come. As the social service and social justice arm of the Catholic Church, Catholic Charities commits to lead a community-wide effort to find solutions to alleviate, prevent and reduce poverty in our valley. Over the past sixty years Catholic Charities has learned what works and what doesn’t work, and we know none of us alone can change the trajectory of income inequality and poverty. We need to “think and act anew.” We invite the help of creative willing partners – people of faith and people of good will, people in poverty and people of means, academics and philanthropists, advocates and policy makers, and for-profit and not-for-profit business leaders.
To join the conversation and planning day on October 14th go to http://bit.ly/hope-and-opportunity.
Then join us in the evening for our 60th Anniversary Liturgy at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph followed by a Celebratory Dinner at the San Jose Marriott with Sr. Donna Markham, President of Catholic Charities USA.
Together, by the grace of God, we can create new pathways of hope and opportunity.
To learn more about Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County visit www.catholiccharitiesscc.org.