In 2008, our country faced its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Savings were lost. Jobs disappeared. Poverty swelled. This crisis has made an especially debilitating impact in Lorain County, Ohio.
Lorain County, a blue-collar working community located just outside of Cleveland, was built on the backs of steel workers and ship builders. However, as industry dried up and jobs vanished, poverty set in. In 2009, Lorain’s poverty rate jumped by a third, claiming 33.7% of all county residents.
Perhaps the most troubling statistic is that over half of Lorain’s senior citizens currently live below the poverty line. Many struggle to meet their basic needs like food and shelter. People are going hungry. Houses are deteriorating. Something needs to be done.
Next Step Ministries has partnered with Lorain County’s Neighborhood Alliance organization to help meet the needs of the seniors in their community. Neighborhood Alliance has been compassionately caring for Lorain County since 1927, focusing on strengthening the community by helping low-income residents meet their basic needs.
We have come along side Neighborhood Alliance who delivers 400 meals a day to Lorain's senior citizens, and will give us the opportunity to repair many of the deteriorating homes. Students will have the opportunity to share meals with the elderly, and at the same time, help meet their physical needs. Students will work on projects to repair leaky roofs, fix broken doors and windows, re-tile failing floors and build wheelchair ramps for people who can no longer walk.
This is a great opportunity to work alongside Next Step Ministries and the Neighborhood Alliance to lend a helping hand to some of Lorain’s most vulnerable residents.