By Bill Peel
“The best anti-poverty program is a job,” said President Obama at the recent Poverty Summit at Georgetown University. Overwhelming response on Twitter pushed #PovertySummit to a national trending topic.
God created us to work. When we don’t work, we can’t flourish — much less eat and pay the rent. When people don’t work bad things happen.
So, who creates jobs so people can work?
Our friends at Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics posted an article about how extreme poverty has drastically decreased is because businesses have created jobs.
A report from the Acton Institute explains,
“Jobs are one of the most important aspects of a morally functioning economy. They help us serve the needs of our neighbors and lead to human flourishing both for the individual and for communities. Conversely, not having a job can adversely affect spiritual and psychological well-being of individuals and families. Because unemployment is a spiritual problem, Christians in America need to understand and be aware of the monthly data on employment.”
But jobs are about more than economics. According to Jobs for Life, one our favorite organizations, nothing attacks one’s dignity like a lack of work. Lack of work tears at the fabric of society creating a vicious cycle of poverty—economically, spiritually, and emotionally. Joblessness contributes to …
- Homelessness: Escape from homelessness is virtually impossible without a job.
- Depression & Suicide: Unemployed people are two to four times as likely to commit suicide.
- Domestic Violence: The rate of violence against women increases as male unemployment increases.
- Divorce: Financial stress is a leading reason couple site as a cause of their divorce.
- Recidivism: 67% of ex-offenders are re-arrested within 3 years of release from prison
- Crime: Rising unemployment and falling wages are key contributors to the crime rate.
Rather than advocate more assistance and handouts, Jobs for Life “equips the local Church to address the impact of joblessness through the dignity of work. By mobilizing a worldwide network of volunteers committed to applying biblically-based training and mentoring relationships, Jobs for Life helps those in need find dignity and purpose through meaningful work.”
See why this can make all the difference in this thought-provoking video from Jobs for Life.
Originally published at the Center for Faith and Work, LeTourneauUniversity. Image: CFW. We also profiled Jobs for Life last November as part of our Community Development Forum–check it out!