Local churches pool resources to fight poverty
About 50 different churches and groups gathered yesterday to provide assistance to St. Louis residents living in poverty.
Services offered included voter registration, resume services, back to school and youth sports physicals and other health services.
Organizers said it took around a year to plan and coordinate the event with Convoy of Hope, a national faith-based anti-poverty organization.
Bishop Lawrence Wooten said it brought together religious groups that haven’t worked together in the past.
“We are our brother’s keeper,” Wooten said. “You can talk and speak, different churches have sermons. I always say people would rather see a sermon than hear a sermon. And we’re showing sermons today, sermons of love.”
Wooten said he hopes the event will create greater cooperation between churches of all denomination in the area to fight poverty.
Convoy of Hope Outreach Director Jason Bachman said the key moving forward is to use the event as a springboard for creating new partnerships focused on ending poverty.
“The key is building relationships, between churches, between people, the connection with people,” Bachman said. “Poverty is the thing, without a relationship, a person stays in. But with relationship people can come out of poverty because they a support system.”
Bachman said the recession has changed the face of poverty and old stereotypes about hunger and joblessness no longer apply.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a quarter of people in St. Louis City are living in poverty.