CitySquare team members worked with well over 50,000 different people during 2012.
The vast majority of these neighbors are not homeless. Rather, they are people who work, but who don't earn enough to make ends meet, or they are children, disabled and/or elderly.
The challenges facing these individuals and families define our work and our mission.
During 2013, we've set an audacious goal for ourselves: to move at least one person onto the road out of poverty or to see a person move above the poverty line every day during the year. For a family of four success will mean the ability to earn more than $23,050 annually or $1,921 per month. For a single individual the goal is to earn more than $11,170 a year or $931 monthly.
The benchmark of success for us is objective. Still, there are a couple of matters that we must keep in mind as we venture out into the new year.
First, earning $1 above the dividing line doesn't really mean that a person is not facing the challenges of poverty any longer! But $1 above the line is real progress for a family currently earning less than $20,000 per year, which is true of a sizable portion of the inner city population in Dallas.
Second, we must work hard to capture the stories and the data necessary to document success in our rather ambitious goal: 1 person every day above the poverty line during 2013. But, we are willing to do the work to document the progress and to evaluate our effectiveness.
Most of us have no understanding of the day-to-day realities that poverty delivers to thousands and thousands of our neighbors in a city like Dallas.
To get a sense of the difficulty factor try playing a game of "SPENT" by clicking here.