Poverty isn’t just about a lack of money or materials.
Richard Logan was working as a pastor of a church in Texas when he realized he had been misunderstanding and incorrectly defining poverty his whole life. When he began intensely listening to his community, Logan learned just how deep poverty runs and that giving someone what they lack doesn’t solve their problems. Instead, poverty requires solutions that consider the connections between critical resources like safe housing, clean water, education, child care, transportation, and financial literacy.
In response to a call he felt to serve his community, Logan boldly started bridging the deep divisions between neighborhoods that were just miles apart. What began as conversations with people in need developed into Attack Poverty, a global nonprofit organization with a mission to “strengthen under-resourced communities through spiritual growth, education, revitalization, and basic needs.”
Attack Poverty takes a humble approach to bridging disparate communities, realizing that one solution doesn’t fit every community, and they don’t have all the solutions. Through what they call “Friends Initiatives,” Attack Poverty focuses on equipping residents with the tools they need to change their own lives, instead of handing out services. By joining forces with community leaders and organizations, Attack Poverty connects communities with resources with communities in need.
Built on the values of faith in action, integrity, empowerment, collaborative partnership, and a holistic approach, Attack Poverty activates the capacity of an under-resourced community to break the cycle of poverty. They foster collaborative partnerships and build a network of resources to have a greater impact.
The Role of Relationship
With an emphasis on development, Attack Poverty’s model strengthens the assets of a community to promote long-term sustainability. How do they do this? It’s all in the context of relationship.
As Logan began listening to the needs of the North Richmond community, where Attack Poverty launched, he quickly realized the power of relationship to break down barriers and address the deepest roots of poverty. Through relationships they are able to encourage and empower individuals with a redemptive impact. While change doesn’t happen overnight, the ripple effects of empowering one individual extend to families and neighbors over time.
Aracely was twice a victim of spousal abuse. She immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she married an American man, but she without her citizenship, she was forced to return to Mexico after they broke up.
Aracely returned a second time and remarried, while also beginning the process of citizenship. Suffering spousal abuse a second time, she escaped from her abusive husband and made her way from Dallas to Fort Bend County with her two girls (age 8 and 10). Aracely was living the Women’s Shelter when she first found Friends of North Richmond through the Jobs for Life class, almost 3 years ago.
With the help of Attack Poverty, she secured a job with a Home Health Agency. Since then, Aracely has worked tirelessly to continue gaining medical, job, and life skills. She attends English classes twice a week and hopes to become a nurse.
Aracely, refers to her story as a chain of love she has received from Attack Poverty and others who have supported her journey to health and self-sufficiency. For the first time in her life, she has just purchased a new car, and she gives back financially to Attack Poverty. Her children, who were often sick from the toxic effects of their stressful situation, are now health and happy.
In response to the care she has received, Aracely is committed to helping others by sharing her story and serving the indigenous people of her home country, Mexico, when possible.
Aracely’s story is one of thousands, and it’s a testament to the power of supportive, authentic relationship as the delivery mechanism for empowerment and encouragement.
Attack Poverty works to provide programming and services tailored to a community while preserving the dignity and respect of every individual they serve. They don’t serve clients; they work together with friends they get to know by name.
Since its inception in 2011, Attack Poverty has witnessed entire communities transform. Programs range from in-school student support, after school programs, job training, financial literacy, home repair, and safe water projects, depending on the needs of a community. To date, they have impacted nearly 14,000 lives.
How Can You Get Involved?
Attack Poverty is part of the Stand Together Catalyst Network and one of many organizations we partner with to promote community-based transformational change. With a model that combines the power of community with the unlimited potential of individuals to make change, Attack Poverty is making a difference in the lives of thousands.
Attack Poverty has Friends Initiatives in North Richmond, Katy, and North Rosenberg, Texas, as well as Rushere, Uganda. They also have an affiliate in Four Corners, Texas. Here is what you can do to get involved.
- Flood Recovery: Almost a year ago the Brazos River rose nearly four feet higher than normal, damaging over 1,400 homes and affecting 50,000 residents in Fort Bend County. Attack Poverty has been leading an outreach and mobilizing volunteers and resources to help repair the communities devastated by the flood. To learn more about how you can help, visit their website.
- Run to Attack Poverty: Attack Poverty’s 6th annual Run to Attack Poverty is on April 29th. Participate in a 10k, 5k, and Kids 1k to benefit Attack Poverty initiatives. Sign up here.
- Volunteer: Attack Poverty operates various programs that rely on volunteers. Learn more about how you can get involved here.
- Intern: Young adults can participate in the Community Development Leadership Program to learn more about engaging in communities and effective community development. Learn more here.
- Host a Poverty Sunday: Tell the story of poverty to your church community and learn about how to serve your community through long-term partnerships. More information here.