Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet two people (M.F & J.W.) whose passion is "work to find sustainable solutions to end poverty both locally and nationally" - http://www.thinktank-inc.org/index.html. In my journey, I have become acutely more aware of the issue of poverty. B.E. and J.Y. at the Freestore Foodbank (see 11/23/11); our SVP Cincinnati educational session on education, poverty and youth; the Crossroad's "Game Change" stewardship campaign for the City Link initiative in Cincinnati; reading "Creating a World without Poverty by Mohammed Yunus; and the headlines about rankings of U.S. cities with high poverty.
J.W. mentioned that poverty is a "brokenness" and something we can all claim (in different ways - economic, emotional, spiritual). The physical side of poverty is visible - locally, nationally and internationally demonstrated by health and living conditions. It's the visible problems that communities attempt to work to resolve. It's the spiritual problems that religion attempts to resolve. But the question is all about sustainability and what exactly makes a solution sustainable?
It was intriguing to compare Scott Miller's CirclesUSA "sustainable solution" methodology to CityLink, Centers for Working Families, Family Independence Initiative, and a host of others. D.R. asked J.W. and M.F. what the Critical Success Factors (CSF) were for their 73 "members" (e.g. a community with Circles). The answer:
(1) Sustainable Investment
(3) A Value and Attention toward Outcomes
You could apply these same CSF's to the individual/family:
(1) Sustainable Economics (Job and Savings)
(2) A leader in the Household
(3) Hope and Goals
There are many solutions to poverty - but of what kind?