Gerald Britt, City Square
Gerald Britt: I'm Reverend Gerald Britt. Here at City Square, we are fighting poverty by building tiny homes like this to address homelessness. We had a list of some 50 to 100 homeless people who were cycling through emergency rooms, jails, and our mental health facilities. Through intensive case management, friendship, and advocacy, we have developed this project to provide homes for those people who most people consider to be the hardest to house.
Our track program is a program we have for kids who are aging out of foster care. No child grows up wanting to be homeless, no child grows up wanting to be on the streets. Track takes up the slack, it's taking young people and giving them the stability that they need in their lives to be able to go to college, provide them with opportunities to get a job.
Young Woman: Class of 2017.
Gerald Britt: And provide them with an opportunity to really envision their future.
Everybody suffers when we leave a predominant proportion of our city's residents in poverty. The challenge is trying to solve it with residents versus solving it for residents, so that they can be a part of the resurgence that is clearly coming, but threatens to leave them out if it's not done in the right way.
The average person can help address poverty by getting to know other people who are not like yourself, by challenging your own attitudes towards the poor, towards people of color. First of all, to see that they are more like you than you think, and second of all, to understand that the hopes and dreams and aspirations of people who are caught in low income circumstances are not dissimilar from yours, but rather, they are seeking to live life with the same dignity and self-respect that you do.