Works Of Mercy Vs Social Change


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Works Of Mercy Vs Social Change

  1. 2. The Two Feet of Justice: Works of Mercy and Working for Social Change
  2. 3. Work of Mercy (Charity) <ul><li>Specific needs of individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Often involves “Haves” sharing with the “Have-Nots” (Power Over other) </li></ul><ul><li>Helps people Survive </li></ul><ul><li>“ Give someone a fish, he eats for the day… </li></ul><ul><li>Restructure the foundations of society </li></ul><ul><li>Those traditionally called “Haves” often work alongside “Have-Nots” (Power With other) </li></ul><ul><li>Helps People Thrive </li></ul><ul><li>… but if you teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime!” </li></ul>Working for Social Change Note: this is not to say that Works of Mercy are not important. They are, but they are incomplete…
  3. 4. <ul><li>Example – you see a mentally ill man trying to sleep on a bench will only a tattered cloth on him for warmth… </li></ul><ul><li>Work of Mercy: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Is concerned with present symptoms of injustice. </li></ul><ul><li>-Give him a better blanket so he doesn’t freeze </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Work of Social Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Concerned with the underlying cause of injustice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example – after seeing that man, you think about the process of deinstitutionalization (where, mainly in an effort to save funds, individuals who “seem” to not be of danger to themselves or others are released into society and offered support services). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem with that – support services get slashed all the time – after the failure of Measure 28 in January 2003, 3.2 million cut from Mental Health Budget – 10,500 lose services. 667,000 cut putting 122 people who had support beds back on streets. Medication slashed as well. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of a trend – most statistics say that between 25-40% of all people on the streets have some form of mental illness. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Example: On your way home from school, you see a family living in a car… </li></ul><ul><li>Work of Mercy </li></ul><ul><li>2. Focuses primarily on individual or personal needs… </li></ul><ul><li>-Point them in the direction of Goose Hollow Family Shelter (because they can’t stay together anywhere else) </li></ul><ul><li>-(Note: Goose Hollow can only take 24 families at any given time, and is only open from November until April) </li></ul>Goose Hollow This Way
  6. 7. <ul><li>Work of Social Change </li></ul><ul><li>2. Concerned with challenging social structures which may be unjust </li></ul><ul><li>After seeing the family in the car, you begin to research city’s attempts to build more low- income housing… </li></ul><ul><li>You question why the Pearl District gets millions of dollars for development when the budget has “none” for refurbishing or rebuilding lower-income apartments and hotels. </li></ul><ul><li>Fact: Since 1978, when the Portland City Council agreed not to let any more low-income housing slip away, over 1,000 units have been lost (2000 – Northwest Pilot Project Study), forcing people to seek shelter or leave. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Example – while walking downtown, you notice an extremely intoxicated man. </li></ul><ul><li>Work of Mercy </li></ul><ul><li>3. Looks for Immediate solutions </li></ul><ul><li>25%-35% of all individuals on the street have some form of addiction. </li></ul><ul><li>Bars on Burnside St. and in surrounding area will offer a “welcome back” drink to any person bringing in an Alcoholics Anonymous Coin… </li></ul><ul><li>Portland is a “heroin” town because of the abundance of “Black Tar” heroin – a “hit” can cost as little as $10 </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Work of Social Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Looks for long-term solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blanchet House for chronic alcoholics and addicts seeking recovery – shelter and work provided during process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DePaul Treatment Center allows for longer stay for chronic alcoholics… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blanchet can only house 18 MEN at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State budget lost $1.1 million, so at least 115 people back on the streets as beds for rehab are lost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heroin detox at Hooper only last 30 days and no resources provided when leaving… </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. How you can work for Social Change… <ul><li>1. Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>2. Political Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>3. Social Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>4. Education </li></ul>1. Students have been known to be some of the strongest lobbyists in Salem and D.C. Write letters, visit Representatives, speak out. 2. Be aware of the events going on around you. Read the paper or have a good internet news service. Magazines like The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, and America are good reads to get a sense of what is going on in the world. 3. Stay connected this those on the “margins.” Think about your Christian Service and think of why we even need to do Christian Service…particularly at your site. 4. The greatest weapon against injustice is education. The more that you learn, the more versatile you become – you recognize patterns, think out solutions, critically appraise scenarios, and offer leadership. Without education, as we see from our global society, those oppressed do not stand a chance.