Let Us Dream…Let Us Do

This week, as we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., there are many things we recall about his words and his vision for a better world.  One of the most memorable of his speeches came during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Today many are still inspired and encouraged by the words spoken that day; words that helped to change the world.  Words that encouraged work that is not yet complete.  Words for the ages. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNCONTROLLABLE EVENTS

This past weekend we experienced the periodic challenge of winter weather coming to our southern city.  The predicted snowstorm got everyone’s attention mid-week and by Friday we were in a full blown panic about the impending impact of snow and ice.  Being one who spent 14 hours in their car trying to get from Buckhead to Marietta in 2014, I was very conscious and aware of every predication and made sure that our office closed early enough on Friday for everyone to get home safe and sound. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NEW YEAR – OLD CHALLENGES

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope that you had a wonderful holiday and that 2017 is good to you and yours.

The new year is traditionally a time to reassess, make commitments to change, and declare a fresh start.  Our resolutions, even if they don’t make it past the first Atlanta ice storm, are an acknowledgement on our part that we can make positive changes in our lives, our relationships, or our thinking; with the ultimate goal of making ourselves better people and our world a better place.  New Year is a time for renewal. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SEASON’S GREETINGS

This holiday season, like every holiday season, at the St. Vincent de Paul Georgia main offices, we hosted and served a meal for people in need in the area.  Our guests were the people that we help everyday with emergency food bags or those who come in and use our computer lab to look for work or to just keep a connection to the rest of the world.  We had our staff, some members of the Board of Directors, and some of our regular volunteers working to set up, serve the food, and clean up. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TRANSPORTATION EQUITY

Last week I was in Washington, DC on business.  I was staying and working out in the Dulles Airport area and I had made an appointment to meet someone for dinner in the District in Chinatown at 6:30pm one night.  Usually my business in DC keeps me in the District area, and I usually never bother to rent a car because the Metro is so great up there; but I had for this trip.  So I was somewhat unfamiliar with commuting from/in the Dulles/Reston area.  So, my adventure began.   Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas Kids

Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, Clark Howard, and WSB conducted the first four of nine scheduled Clark’s Christmas Kids events at Walmart stores in Roswell, Dunwoody, and East Cobb.  The Christmas Kids Program is a program of the State of Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services and provides Christmas gifts for children in foster care in Georgia.  This year we have over 8100 children registered in the program through DFACS.  Each of those children will receive three gifts at Christmas thanks to the generosity of the thousands of people who shop for them at these events, and the hundreds of volunteers who work the events. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poverty Rates in Care Providers

By Melissa Winkler, Community Relations Manager, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia

Research from Childcare Aware finds that, on average, Georgians pay more than $7,600 a year on childcare, which is 13.8% of a typical family’s annual income. Despite the great expense associated with quality childcare, more than one third of childcare workers live at or near the poverty line. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Internet Access and Barriers to Equity

By Melissa Winkler, Community Relations Manager, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia

Internet access, or lack thereof, is an incredibly important component of equity and access in our communities. In our increasingly digital society, social and economic mobility are contingent upon affordable and reliable Internet access. According to data from Pew Research, 78% of households with income of less than $30,000 per year use the internet, compared with 98% from households with incomes $75,000-100,000, but only 45% of the less than $30,000 group has internet access in their home.  This gap in usage relates to affordability and access. The access divide becomes particularly clear when usage data is broken down by communities: 89% of both urban and suburban use the internet compared to just 80% of rural communities. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Socioeconomic Diversity in Schools

Melissa Winkler Community Relations Manager Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia

Melissa Winkler
Community Relations Manager
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia

A report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office last spring found substantial growth in the number of schools with poor and mostly Black or Hispanic student populations. In comparing the 2000-01 school year with 2013-14, “the percentage of public schools that had high percentages of poor and Black or Hispanic students grew from 9 to 16 percent.” Not only do these schools share a higher concentration of low-income students, with 75-100 percent of students receiving free and reduced lunch, but they also offer far less academically rigorous programs and positive outcomes compared to their counterparts: “these schools offered disproportionately fewer math, science, and college preparatory courses, and had disproportionately higher rates of students who were held back in 9th grade, suspended, or expelled.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to know those who live in poverty

In January of 2015, St. Vincent de Paul Georgia and the Atlanta Regional Commission partnered to present a half-day summit on transportation and equity in the metro Atlanta area. The keynote for the event, Rebecca Burns, who is now the publisher for The Red & Black, offered a piece of insight that has always stuck with me. She asked the members of the audience to consider how intimately we knew people who were struggling with poverty, not in an abstract or fleeting sense of knowing, but in a real, well developed relationship way. How often do any of us from middle and upper-middle class environments interact with, share meals with, and have real meaningful conversations with those living in poverty? Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment