“Almost all poverty is fundamentally the result of a lack of options. It is not that the poor are lazier, less intelligent, or unwilling make efforts to change their condition. Rather it is that they are trapped by circumstances beyond their power to change.” When I came across this quote from Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S., I have to say I was stunned at how succinctly he captured the realities of the daily lives of many members of The Well Community.
Through serious mental illnesses and related issues of stigma and poverty, our members truly have been, “trapped by circumstances beyond their power to change” and are unable to escape—on their own. Their stability is fragile, easily broken by lack of basic provisions such as $6 bus fare to pick up medications at the pharmacy or lack of access to dental care. Their dignity is also assaulted when strangers hurriedly pass them by without a greeting or kind smile.
Simple needs, needs we all take care of without effort or much thought, loom large for those “trapped in the circumstances” of mental illness and poverty. And when housing accounts for 75-80 percent of monthly expenses, little is left for “simple needs” like food, transportation and medication. Without support from The Well, community members would go without personal care items or nutritious meals. Without the friendships they share at our Community Life Center, loneliness would sink them deeper into isolation and despair.
If you are like me, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the huge challenges of poverty and hopelessness all around the world. But perhaps, also like me, you have found that it’s possible to make a big difference in a few lives. That’s what we do at The Well Community in everyday kinds of ways.
Because of the generosity of donors and kindnesses of volunteers, we are able to help “change the circumstances” for our members. If you are one who supports The Well Community with your finances and/or time, thank you. If you aren’t yet, please consider how you could help bring the power to change in a few lives.
Click here to make a donation, or give us a call (214-393-5878, ext. 603) to arrange a volunteer opportunity.
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