Speakers at the Oct. 15 Pathway to Self-Sustainability community meeting listen as Susan Masiak, spokesperson for the project, explains the agenda. Nearly 100 people attended to learn how to help end poverty in Oakland County.

Pathway meeting energizes volunteers

Showing their commitment to help end poverty in Oakland County, nearly 100 people attended the Oct. 15 Pathway to Self-Sustainability community meeting.

“I am thrilled we had so many enthusiastic people come out to support this important project to help individuals and families get out of the cycle of poverty,” says Susan Masiak, spokesperson for the Pathway to Self-Sustainability project. “It is very gratifying to have such a large group spend an evening with us, eager to learn more about this project and how their volunteer efforts can play a huge role in helping to put an end to the poverty among us.”

Speakers at the meeting included: Jane Fanta on behalf of Luz Telleria, director, Hispanic Outreach Services, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan; John Ziraldo, CEO, The Lighthouse of Oakland County; Ryan Hertz, CEO, South Oakland Shelter; and Stephanie Osterland, director of Family & Community Relationships, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County. Jim Masiak spoke on behalf of Elizabeth Garlow, executive director, Michigan Corps. Harry Moorhouse, co-founder of much-written-about Detroit-area restaurant Moo Cluck Moo, also attended the meeting and met with attendees afterward.

“The number of people unable to provide a decent standard of living for their families continues to grow, and resources to help them are limited,” explains Masiak. “The Pathway to Self-Sustainability offers a new approach. We find and develop services tracked to successfully end poverty. The project is an all-volunteer, interfaith and community project.

“Everyone attending the meeting had the opportunity to sign up for more information on projects of interest, such as mentoring programs or providing guidance about business loan opportunities. Those deciding to get involved in a specific way will eventually be asked to give of their time, talent or treasure.

“However, even people with limited time or resources can help by being an advocate for the project. For example, they can write letters to elected officials about policies affecting those living in poverty; and they can encourage family and friends to learn more about poverty and what can be done to end it. Just helping to raise awareness of the poverty among us is beneficial. There is a role for everyone interested in putting an end to poverty.”

The Pathway to Self-Sustainability meeting was held on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the gym of St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale.

For more information about the project, please contact Susan Masiak at stmasiak@hotmail.com, Kathy Bommarito at kathyabommarito@gmail.com or call 248-705-8868.

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