Youngstown, OH Justice-Seekers Supported Safety Net Programs at the Care Not Cuts Rally
Sister Eilis McCulloh, HM
Grassroots Outreach and Organizing Specialist
June 27, 2023
As Congress was in the final days of negotiations around the debt ceiling and trying to avoid a default, more than 40 faith-filled justice seekers gathered in Youngstown, Ohio at St. Patrick’s Church on the city’s southside.
Because I grew up in Youngstown, I have a soft spot for the city that is still trying to claw its way out of the devastating effects of the steel mill closures in the 1970s. I often talk about the grit and determination the city and its people have to build itself anew. Folks have come together – in faith-based and secular organizations, local government, and churches–to make sure everyone has access to human needs resources. Fresh food is provided through a mobile pantry and housing resources, food assistance, medical assistance, and so much more are being delivered, too. But, from the rally’s speakers, we learned that they cannot do that alone.
Tom Hetrick, President of City Council, told us that more than one-third of all residents rely on SNAP to feed their families. However, the city is considered to be a food desert, so most people do not have access to fresh food within their neighborhoods. What good is SNAP when locations to access the benefit are lacking? Additionally, many residents rely on Medicaid and housing subsidies. Youngstown would be decimated if these vital social safety net programs were cut. Local non-profits are stepping up to fill the gaps, but they cannot do this forever.
“No matter how many organizations will come to the rescue, we need our federal government and Congress to stand up, as we strive to give you the benefit of the doubt…Because each and every one of us needs food, clothing, and shelter. And we ask that you would consider and not make these severe cuts to humanity, to our communities. As we gather together as organizations, we are striving to do our part, but we cannot do it without our Congress and federal government stepping up and doing the right thing by the people. “ ~ Rev. Carla Robinson
Watch Video from the Youngstow, OH Care Not Cuts Rally
NETWORK thanks the community advocates who spoke out to protect the social safety net at the Youngstown, OH Care Not Cuts Rally.
Youngstown City Council
Michael F. Stepp
St. Vincent de Paul
Humility of Mary Housing, Inc
Elder Rose Carter
Minister Joseph Boyd
UU of Youngstown
Rev. Carla Robinson
Dr. Alexis Smith