Day 32 of the Government Shutdown, the day after MLK

Just yesterday we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. King. Today, it feels like nothing more than a show for who America wants to be, but can't live up to. The mask always comes off. These words of Dr. King come to my mind. "If America is to remain a first-class nation, it can't have second-class citizens". The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Trump administration’s request to allow it to bar most transgender people from serving in the military. The administration’s policy reversed a 2016 decision by the Obama administration to open the military to transgender service members. It generally prohibits transgender people from military service but makes exceptions for those already servin

MLK and 31 days of a Government Shutdown

As we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, today a lot has passed through my mind. Today marks the 31st day of our government shutdown with no end in sight. Here at Arise, we were all in the office, hiding from the bitter cold, bustling around to get ready for our various day of service activities and events of the day. One of our long time members and advocacies came in with such warmth, excited about finally being in his new apartment after being homeless for some time. Those outcomes feel good. Another advocacy came in, a mother with her young children who is also experiencing homelessness. We made sure the kids had gloves and scarves while we worked with their mo

Government Shutdown, Day 28

When you are the go to organization for answers, it is a struggle when there are questions posed that we don't have the answers to. This has been the experience over these past few days as the government shutdown lingers on. If you haven't already heard, food stamp benefits for the month of February have been distributed to SNAP participants. The question I received was, "should I spend the money or is it safe on my card?". I had to pause for a moment to really think about that because I couldn't give an immediate answer and there is so much uncertainty around that. Here at Arise we work alongside poor and low-income folks who depend on government services and programs. It is hard enough liv

Government Shutdown, Day 27

So it's day 27 of the government shutdown and the day after our "What's Happening Wednesday's" drop in and although Arise is not directly impacted, many of the people that we work with are feeling it. As we sat and brainstormed around what we can do as an organization, we came up with a survival guide, if you will, with information on housing laws and rights, food pantries, shelters, stretching food dollars and community support. We've asked people to share their stories with us. Nearly all of the people we advocate for depend on government services, such as SNAP, Section 8, homeless and domestic violence shelters, etc. As the shutdown continues, will people go hungry when the funding for fo

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