Yesterday I went to an advocacy planning meeting - for human services in the rough financial seas ahead.
We heard from groups concerned with or represent children, seniors, the environment, disabilities, the poor and others who rely on the vast social service networks. All these groups have clients who now need services and see their client list growing by the day! In the face of that growing need - we are facing a huge budget deficit here in Oregon and I presume in all 50 sates and the District of Columbia. It is not pretty - in fact it can be depressing ugly - but we know we need to keep looking ahead and being hopeful that a new administration in D.C. will offer some hope and help - but it will not be immediate.
In bad times more people need social services. In bad times governments cut social service funds.
That's the ongoing quagmire faced across this country right now!
Food banks are empty as people who used to donate now need the food themselves. Lost jobs means more need food stamps. More kids meet the requirement for free school lunch programs and those programs are either even funded or get less money now. More seniors need help with food, medicine, emergency money for taxes and utility bills and those funds are the same as in previous years or less - with more people meeting the criteria for those funds.
Ask your state why is that the most vulnerable among us are the ones who are made more vulnerable in bad financial times? Do we not value our seniors or children? Why are they rarely or never top priority budget items?
Find out what decisions are being made in your sate that affect seniors and children and call your state and federal reps and senators to make your voice heard..
And get involved with your local advocacy groups...