At this moment in American history, poverty is suburbanizing. Gentrification brings wealth back into the city and pushed poor renters into 40-year-old apartment buildings in first-ring suburbs.
Without the participation of the Church in the unstoppable process of gentrification, it will be an unjust process.
Handouts are the kindest way to destroy people. Why exclude the poor from bargaining? Let's re-tool our charity to develop reciprocal systems. "There is no loss of dignity in finding a good bargain."
You don't get appreciated for this kind of work. In fact it's often the opposite. Disappointment asks: "What am I doing this for?" I do it because God loves those who suffer.
A public school in Atlanta:
When my kids enrolled, school average 21% on standardized tests.
12 years later, school average 79% on standardized tests.
How? investment in school by volunteers and the revival of the PTA.