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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Model approaches to poverty that the Church would do well to emulate.

Just so you don't think I'm avoiding the conversation below.

I suggest Focus: HOPE. Founded by Fr. William Cunningham (God rest his soul) while the ashes of the Riot were still smouldering, Focus: Hope tries to break the poverty cycle through job-training and education initiatives, as well as support systems for families who need both parents to work. F:H does a superb job of working with private employers and donors to get the job done, and is an excellent example of innovative thinking on the issue.

No, it doesn't apply strictly to the question of insurance, but that isn't insoluable with a little thinking, either.

Speaking of which.

Another model which impresses me is at work in the Upper Peninsula's Marquette County, where a nonprofit organization has creatively addressed the lack of health coverage through the voluntary participation of area doctors and dentists. All doctors (and dentists, I think) who participate in the organization agree to offer no less than ten free office visits per year (many do more). In addition, the medical offices have created an ad hoc pharmacy from pooling together their free manufacturer's samples of assorted medicines. I'm happy to report that most of the area's health care professionals have joined up to help an area struggling to adjust from the death of the UP's mining industry and closure of military facilities.

There. I can be positive.

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