Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs recently achieved yet another accomplishment in its effort to alleviate poverty in the Pikes Peak region with the opening of The Marian House Self-Sufficiency Center.
A compliment to the hot meals provided in the Marian House Soup Kitchen, the Self-Sufficiency Center goes beyond stabilization services; our programs focus on helping people fully realize their God-given talents and abilities. To reach this goal, Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs has enlisted the talents of the many fine, local human service agencies with specific areas of expertise.
Their role will be to help our consumers develop a holistic treatment plan designed to get them out of poverty. The eight areas to be targeted include the following: Housing, Employment & Income, Medical Care, Education, Life Skills, Mental Health Care, Transportation, Child Care.
The trouble with poverty is that while someone may have adequate means in all but one of the areas mentioned above, that person can still be caught in the poverty cycle. Persons in situational or acute poverty may only need support in a few of those categories. Sadly, however, those whose experience generational poverty will likely need assistance in most, if not all of the categories mentioned.
It is certainly easy to say that we can help people by providing a meal, clothes, or a place to stay for a night. This is all good and well, but is it enough? Does this fully honor the dignity of the person? One of our great modern saints, Therese of Lisieux opined, “Instead of wasting time picking up little bits of straw, one can dig for diamonds.”
Known as “The Little Flower,” she was rarely subtle when it came to our responsibility of loving one another. I don’t in any way mean to diminish any act of charity. But to St. Therese’s point, we often need to go further than just picking up the little bits of straw.
We should be digging for diamonds.