Friday, September 15, 2006

True ramblings...

I feel like I need to fill you all in on what is going on where I work. Crossroads is a really cool place where there is tons going on in a given day. The emergency food pantry at Crossroads is the busiest in the state of Utah where daily anywhere between 150 and 200 people are given a 3 day supply of food, gas voucher, prescription voucher, clothing voucher for Crossroads' thrift store (which gives away clothes and other necessities to about 20 families a day, and other services. There are limits to how much of something people can get, so it is truly only an emergency pantry.

Clients of the pantry make up one of the advocacy groups that is based at Crossroads with which I work - the Anti-Hunger Action Committee. Issues that AHAC is wokrin on vary between issues that the members dictate - things like restoring vision and dental to medicaid, state-run healthcare, and state-mandated living wages. I do some community organizing with this group and will get more into research and legislation, grant writing, and advocacy training eventually.

Another advocacy group is the Coalition of Religious Communities, or CORC. CORC is a group of people from varying faith traditions - Bahai, Jewish, American Baptist, Episcopal, everything and anything - who rally together and support/advocate for issues regarding poverty. CORCs main issues right now are removing the sales tax on food, raising the minimum wage, and state-regulation of payday loan companies. I haven't done much with this but have done enough to know that CORC is very politically charged and ferocious - something I will have to grow into.

I guess the reason I wanted to write this was to talk about some of my observations. One being that I now know where the stereotype of Native Americans being alcoholic comes from. Growing up in Nashville I heard the stereotype, but never knew why it was a stereotype. When I arrive at work in the morning there are anywhere between 10 -15 people waiting for the building to open so they can use the phone, get food, or just relax in the air-conditioning. As i walk past this group of people I get strong smells of whiskey and mouth wash. Can you imagine being so desparate for the taste of alcohol that you actually drink mouthwash for the alcohol? Dependence is something else...oh, and more than half of the people who come into Crossroads drunk are Native Americans - not saying I buy into the stereotype, I just know where it comes from now. Half aren't Native Americans and the majority of all alcoholics aren't on display for the world to see like these men I work with...

Okay, sorry to bore you. I'm sure my next post will be funny, enlightening, and not ramblings (though my blog title might have to change)...but no one can give Adam quality blog postings every time...not even Adam. Also, I didn't proofread (as usual) so excuse gramatticool arrows and missspeleengs please. See that was funny, but didn't redeem the posting I'm afraid.


Blogger Matthew said...

I'm curious how your agency works with, or independent of LDS relief. I was under the impression that they had a fairly extensive internal welfare program.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I think it is wonderful to also hear the serious side of Adam that is also important to know. Hope things are well and it seems you are really settling in. Keep me posted!

7:35 PM  

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