Witness to Hunger Testifies on the Progress of the War on Poverty
August 5, 2013
August 5, 2013
"You may have heard people say 'we don’t want a hand out, we want a hand up.' I say we don’t want a hand out or a hand up, we want a hand in. Include us. If you want to find solutions to the issues that people face while living in poverty, people actually living in poverty need to be part of the discussion when decisions are being made.
If you do not have an understanding of the struggles, how can you try to solve them? I am not a number, I am not a statistic, I am an American citizen. I have a voice and you need to hear it. We are the real experts. We know American policies first hand.
When I talk about people who are poor, I am not just talking about families like mine. I am also talking about our elders, all families with young children, and the military soldiers who come home and cannot get the services and supports they need. I am talking about the disabled and the mentally ill, our immigrant families and our American Indian brothers and sisters who live in a kind of economic poverty far worse than my own. People living in poverty need serious, comprehensive attention."
Above is a excerpt from written testimony Tianna Gaines-Turner, a member of Witnesses to Hunger, submitted to the House Budget Committee for a hearing on the progress on the "War on Poverty." No one living in poverty was invited to testify at the hearing in person, but Tianna was allowed to submit her testimony in writing.