Trust key element in serving others

Trust key element in serving others

Regarding Jim Nowlan's column in the Nov. 28 News-Gazette, "How to address poverty," here's what I think.

The social workers got the picture right. It's the same picture I got 46 years ago when I became a caseworker, and the old-timers shared the same picture from 40 years before.

In a clumsy, inefficient manner, caseworkers became navigators when willing to fill a notebook with names and phone numbers to link up services with a phone call, maybe three, maybe more.

The list of family shortcomings is a good start. It's unrealistic to expect these to disappear, but change can happen, one family at a time, when all concerned become willing to promote it, if only in my experience.

During the process, a navigator-in-chief can appear to link up confusing government services. Computers can expedite this, but it still comes down to people at work.

It's people, the givers and the getters, who can build a bridge between despair and solutions, however small. My life has shown me that willingness is the key. Better electronics improves service, but trust comes from the people at hand.

Experience has shown me that you can't make people use well-coordinated services in an atmosphere of distrust. This thing called "trust" can link up the haves and have-nots, one at a time, to move past despair toward solutions.

But bipartisan willingness is the key. And with this comes hope.

RUSS SERPETIS

Urbana

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