Of the many destructive myths about the poor, the most pervasive and culturally harmful is that poor people do not want to work. Ironically, it's just the opposite:
Most impoverished households include many workers who hold multiple jobs. When your pay rate is less than $10 an hour, it takes a lot of hours to make rent each month. Part-time jobs at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores, coupled with odd jobs like babysitting, snow-shoveling, and trash-hauling are staples in America's poor neighborhoods. In truth, America's poorest people are overwhelmingly some of the nation's hardest workers.
And yet the ugly stereotype of the lazy and irresponsible loafer persists on talk radio, cable news, and social media. Knowing better, Open Door America remains committed to helping worthy individuals and families find living-wage employment that lifts them out of poverty, ends their need for charity and public assistance, and sets them on a path towards sustainable life success.
In keeping with this commitment, Open Door America is pleased to announce its newest jobs partnership with the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Program (MDMEP). MDMEP is at the forefront of a national movement to link workers of all skill levels -- including entry-level workers -- with the nation's 253,000 small and medium-sized manufacturing companies. For scores of impoverished Maryland families in 2016 and beyond, this partnership promises to be uplifting and life-changing. MDMEP represents the best in public-private partnerships . . . the kind of partnerships that can provide real solutions to America's growing poverty crisis.
Finding a good job can be tough under the best of circumstances. When you have a criminal record, it can be virtually impossible. For a nation drowning in a sea of red ink, the time has come for employers to look beyond one answer box in the hiring process. Employers willing to hire ex-offenders hold the key to reducing America's exorbitant criminal justice costs, shrinking public assistance budgets, and most importantly, restoring families and communities across the nation.
We have strong Baltimore roots so please indulge this prideful moment as we point out that the Baltimore Orioles are in first place in the American League East on August 4th. There are still 57 games to go but it's never too early to gloat, especially when you were picked to finish dead last by Sports Illustrated. What began as the Baltimore turnaround on July 29, 2010 when Buck Showalter became the O's manager has turned into the summer of great expectations in 2016. Buck will be the first to tell you that better talent on the roster has been critical to the team's success. But, if you listen closely, you will also hear Buck say time and again that the real secret to the team's success is finding players and coaches who have the "want to." The "want to" that fuels hard work and sacrifice. The "want to" that helps you grind out wins in the face of great odds. When Open Door America enlists new clients, we're looking for the same thing: the "want to" that drives a young parent to do everything possible to lift his or her family out of poverty. The "want to" that helps them persevere with the demands placed on them by our employers, case managers, and mentors. It's all about the "want to."
Open Door Baltimore, a nonprofit that fights poverty by working with businesses to provide living-wage jobs, is expanding beyond the beltway. To better reflect the organization’s larger mission, the board of directors recently approved a new identity and logo.Read More