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  • Pima County-led workshops offer deeper understanding of poverty and its impact on communities

    Aug 17, 2017 | Read More News
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    Organizations working with people in poverty can gain insight into their challenges and strengths at a Sept. 9 workshop at the Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, offered by Pima County’s Ending Poverty Now Program.

    The workshop, “Understanding Poverty: Why Poverty Matters to Our Community,” runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will allow participants to work more effectively with those who are chronically under-resourced. The $50 cost includes lunch, snacks and training materials. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Register at epn.sept9.eventbrite.com. Registration deadline is Sept. 5.

    “Understanding Poverty means understanding the impact of chronic instability, scarcity, and stress, as well as how environments and systems impact the larger picture,” Bonnie Bazata, Ending Ending Poverty Now workshopPoverty Now program manager, said. 

    Participants will examine economic class and its impact on individuals’ lives and institutions, review tools for systemic change and learn about the Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World workshop. Getting Ahead is a national curriculum that provides tools for under-resourced individuals to help them stabilize and take charge of their lives and build resources for a better life.

    Roberto Thompson, an assistant principal at Tucson Magnet High School and a former elementary school principal, went through the training because he wanted to be proactive in helping parents.

    “I helped a lot of parents that want to turn their lives around for their kids and Bonnie’s program gave us a system to help people,” he said. “It was extremely helpful when talking to middle-class people who have never experienced poverty. It also gave a skillset to help people break the cycles of poverty.”

    Ideas and tools are drawn from the Bridges Out of Poverty framework, new research on scarcity, behavioral science, and other resources. 

    Bazata leads the workshops. She was the first executive director of the St. Joseph County Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative in South Bend, Ind., where more than 850 people graduated from the Getting Ahead program. She has provided trainings around the country and helped design both the national evaluation instrument and a qualitative study of Getting Ahead.

    Thompson said it was interesting to learn some of the data behind his own experience growing up as the son of a teen-age mother.

    “I teach it to my student athletes, to parents, and now I am starting a class at a local church.

    I believe every politician, teacher, and administrator in education needs to take this.”

    The Ending Poverty Now Program also will offer the “Understanding Poverty” workshops Nov. 10 and Dec. 5, also at the Abrams Public Health Center. 

    For more information, email Bonnie Bazata or call her at 520-724-3704. 

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