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May 07, 2012 | Helen Geiger

Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop Provides Tools for Positive Impact

Trinity, The Woodlands, sponsored a workshop on April 25 based on Bridges Out of Poverty by Dr. Ruby K. Payne, Philip DeVol, and Terie Dreussi Smith, which focused on bringing law enforcement, agencies, churches, coalitions, businesses and schools together with the goal of building sustainability to address the growing issues of poverty.


77 people from various parts of Montgomery County spent the day with trainer Jodi Pfarr exploring the various aspects of behaviors, hidden rules and economics which influence how we deal with the people with whom we come in contact.


One exercise had each table draw a large circle then write all the businesses and activities in a poor neighborhood, a middle class neighborhood and a wealthy neighborhood. There are surprises in such a simple exercise: participants quickly catch the differences in resources available to the three classes. All these subtleties are part of the fabric of which classes are made.  The driving forces for each class: 


For poverty -- survival, relationships and entertainment;


For middle class -- work, achievement, material security;


For wealth -- financial, political and social connections.


The clear point of the workshop was to provide tools as a community to positively impact the education and lives of individuals in poverty.  It will take the community working together to make necessary progress.


Trinity invites everyone to join the conversation and plans on producing another workshop in the fall which builds on this one but will be understandable to those people who were not able to attend the first. If you wish to contact someone from your field who was at the workshop, please feel free to email us at and we will assist you in making connections.