Marion Matters Workshops Focus on Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Marion Matters is working to help local residents pull themselves out of a cycle of poverty and move ahead in their lives with a more confident financial outlook. To provide an understanding of the issues surrounding poverty, as well as to train new volunteers, Marion Matters will host a “Basic” Bridges Out of Poverty session on Tuesday, September 4, and a Bridges Applications session on Wednesday, September 5.

The sessions run from 8:30am to 4:00pm each day, with an hour for lunch on your own. The training, which is free, will be held at TRECA, 2nd floor, 100 Executive Drive in Marion.

The Marion Matters group is urging anyone interested in helping to reduce poverty in Marion to attend, including community residents, employers, educators, clergy, medical and social services personnel, and others.

To reserve your seat, visit

Jodi Pfarr, a national facilitator who has conducted similar workshops in Marion before, will provide information, training and lead discussions about understanding and finding solutions for the significant level of poverty in our community.  She will ask attendees to think about the question:  “How is poverty affecting you and those you know?”

With this question in mind, Pfarr will proceed to offer ways for attendees to come up with strategies and solutions that will enable people to help themselves out of poverty, thus reducing Marion’s large presence of poverty.

Marion Matters, a local non-profit organization, seeks to help the community offer structures/steps that will enable individuals in poverty to create action plans and garner the guidance and support they need to get themselves out of poverty.  The following statistics point out the need for Bridges help with ways to reduce the extensive presence of local poverty,

  • 22% of Marion County residents are on Medicaid (ODJFS)
  • 20% of Marion County residents receive Food Stamps (ODJFS)
  • Marion experiences the 4th highest criminal recidivism rate in the state (ODRC)

The training is designed to:

  • develop a mental model of poverty – and see how personal relationships and a  “Tyranny of the Moment” existence trump everything in the daily poverty menu of one crisis after another.
  • learn the hidden rules of survival for poverty and the hidden rules for navigating in the middle class;  how these “hidden rules”  skills – critical in one context – can mean failure in another;
  • understand the difference between formal and informal language register that characterize the culture of the two classes,  and how to bridge those differences to make communications meaningful;
  • identify resources needed to achieve middle class status (it’s not all about money) and the barriers that limit their acquisition; and
  • commit to making Marion a more successful community.

The event is sponsored by Marion Matters, Inc., ADAMH. Marion General Hospital, Marion Municipal Court, and TRECA.

Contact 389-5795 for more information or visit to reserve your seat.

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