Soc 4560- 01
Dr. Gillie- Wallace
October 2, 2014
Poor and Suburban
SSA magazine presents an incisive article on poverty in the suburbs; the northern suburbs. I was very much enlightened about how the demographics have changed and how poverty has infiltrated the northern suburbs. But as with so many other social problems, hunger, poverty, want and need only become news when it enters the realm of the affluent. I was much relieved to read Scott W. Allard’s quote “. . . but we also know that the south suburbs have been grappling with rising poverty rates for some time.” I personally have been witness to this rise. When I first lived in the south suburbs circa 1980, I had never heard of a food pantry, however, twenty-five years later, I found myself volunteering at one. The scene at the Thornton Township Food Assistance Program, where I served, much resembles the one SSA describes at Willow Creek Care Center. There we served the young and the old, men and women, whole families. We served Latinos, Blacks, and Whites alike, but the resemblance ends there. Willow Creek Community Church is a 24,000 member mega-church while Thornton Township is just a food pantry. As I read the article, I began to really understand what Dr. Wallace meant when she told me about a communities service depending on the communities resources. There is a line on page 14 that states “Local capacity to support those living in poverty also varies widely in the suburbs.” I can assume that a community like South Barrington has greater resources than a community like Harvey or Robbins, but it seems that the services being rendered are mostly by faith-based institutions and staffed by volunteers. When I read about the middle-aged woman getting her 15 year old Honda serviced by Willow Creek’s volunteer mechanic at their transportation ministry, I felt a certain amount of envy and admiration. I felt the same way as I read about the Mano a Mano resource center for Latinos in...
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