Utt: ‘Poverty affects everyone in a community’

Pathfinders RC&D is bringing “Bridges Out of Poverty,” a free community training, to Fairfield High School on Feb. 24 with the help of Jefferson County Public Health, Fairfield Economic Development Association, Fairfield community School District, Indian Hills and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Bridges Out of Poverty is offered to business owners, resource providers, local government officials, religious communities, educational staff, law enforcement officials and anyone looking to learn more on how to help the poverty situation in their community.

Ashley Utt, Director of Pathfinders and Davis County resident, says, “Poverty affects everyone in a community. We can’t sit back and hope this goes away. It won’t!”

The workshop is a comprehensive approach to understanding poverty and generational poverty. Bridges Out of Poverty uses the lens of economic class and provides concrete tools and strategies for a community to alleviate poverty.

Participants will review poverty research, examine a theory of change, and analyze poverty through the prism of the hidden rules of class, resources, family structure and language.

Throughout the workshop, participants will receive specific strategies for improving outcomes, but the focus of the workshop is to provide a broad overview of concepts.

Vern Reed, a Bridges Out of Poverty consultant, will present from 8:30-11:30 a.m. followed by a question/answer session from 1-3:30 p.m.

Reed spent much of his early career in education as a teacher/coach at West Burlington High School, where at-risk students began to seek his help.

He now consults and trains on the topics of addressing the topics of addressing poverty and emotional poverty.

“Understanding that poverty is about resources, not necessarily money, has empowered me and all who are on their own Bridges journeys,” Reed says. “We can all work together to help build the key resources that we all need to live a sustainable life.”

To register for the workshop or for more information, email info@pathfindersrcd.org and give name, organization, and the number or persons planning to attend.