Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Blessing of Learning to Support Oneself

   What the Salt Lake Valley, and Utah, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are doing for the needy seems wonderful.
   I've questioned whether relying solely on paid professionals to solve our homelessness is perhaps not the way to go. And, I've wondered if we don't just turn the poor into an industry that benefits others, if paid social workers become the norm.
   But, do not mistake me. I think it wonderful our valley's leaders are seeking to take those unemployed and turn them into people who are putting bread on the table for themselves and their families.
   'Tis wonderful. Surely, we thank them for coming up with such a thing.
   Last week, I thought to write on this, wondering if any other community in the country is going this direction. Instead of just putting them up in homeless shelters, placing them in centers where they have the resources to change their lives. Is this a novel venture? Or are we borrowing from somewhere else? Thank whoever came up with it.
  Think of this: We, as a society, have progressed as social workers have become part of our society. We now have college programs where the skills of working with people of various needs are taught. You can become a trained expert in the art of helping others. But, till now, these skills perhaps have not fully been tapped as we work with our homeless. It does seem wise to utilize the knowledge society has acquired. A trained hand is not to be scorned.
  So, that is one thought I have. On the flip side, I wonder if whatever secrets of motivation, of bringing change into people's lives, cannot be practiced by those without degrees. Cannot we just teach these skills to volunteers, and have the volunteers work with the homeless and others in need? It does seem we should be concerned of the expense. Would the price of many social workers turn homelessness into an industry benefiting the social workers more than the homeless?
   Well, this morning I was blessed to be able to attend a church meeting in which the Self Reliance Initiative of the Church of Jesus Christ was introduced to us. I found it has a lot in common with what the Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County are trying to do: Taking the poor, and teaching them skills.
  I think it a great thing.

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