2008 has brought to our collective attention many seemingly unsolvable problems. Those of us who spend much of our lives advocating for the poor have seen the cry for help increase at an alarming rate…especially from folks who have never sought help before. Many people who were recently laid off from their employers are now beginning to experience the reality of living without a regular pay check and health insurance. It is scary and very sobering to find yourself in this condition after being self sufficient for many years. Unfortunately, most economists are predicting that this situation will only get worse in the months/years ahead.
Lack of access to quality mental health services, health and health care programs, affordable insurance, good paying jobs with benefits, quality education, affordable housing, dependable and affordable transportation, safe and drug free neighborhoods, culturally competent services/programs and access to convenient grocery stores with fresh fruits and vegetables seems like unsolvable problems for many of our residents in today’s world.
2009 is the time for bold leadership in order to turn these seemingly unsolvable problems into great opportunities. Local, state and federal government, business, religious, education, nonprofit, ethnic, neighborhood, philanthropic and community leaders must work together. As we near the inauguration of our new President, we are hopeful that he will provide the leadership needed as we work toward turning unsolvable problems into great opportunities.