Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Many people don't understand the challenges facing "poor" people.  Actually, I cringe at the word "poor" simply because of how we reserve its use for stereotypical understandings of persons who live with the constant disadvantage of little or low income.  In my book and around CitySquare we've long ago recognized that everyone is rich and everyone is poor, just in different ways, dimensions and measures. 

But, to my point.  The wonderful people who cross our paths daily are fundatmentally the same as the people with almost unlimited means who support our work at CitySquare.  What follows is another story about a very special neighbor who is doing his part to make our community stronger.  I gotta tell you, people like Kevin keep me going!  I've known him for over a decade now.  Michelle Kopel,  one of our leading neighbor advocates, wrote this short report.

Kevin McCarver is a 40-year-old, single African American who is developmentally disabled. He graduated from high school in 1996. He has been visiting our Resource Center and Food Pantry for years.

Kevin receives $674 in SSDI, $40 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits, and is a recipient of Section 8 housing which makes him responsible for $192 in rent each month.

Kevin is a regular at our Resource Center.  He visits us to supplement his food needs . More importantly he enjoys the personal contact and fellowship with our staff and volunteers. Kevin always takes time to visit with staff, and we all have taken him under our wing.

When the Resource Center implemented the $5 administration fee, Kevin stated that he was happy to "give back, and help us to help more people." Kevin actually puts a five dollar bill in an envelope with our name on it as soon as he receives his monthly check.

He has told our staff, that he loves us and looks forward to his monthly visits. He has taken ownership in our Resource Center and in the community.

Situations such as Kevin's illustrate that our organization is concerned with not only providing quality food and counsel, but even more with providing a gathering place that strengthens our community one person at a time.


belinda said...

thank you for sharing this

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the book.... when is it out?

Larry James said...

Still working on getting it published.