Government
Associated Press/Photo by Eric Gay (file)

Year in Review: Finding a balance

Compassion | Sweeping policy changes affected the poor and poverty fighters in 2019
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich & Charissa Koh
Posted 12/26/19, 01:15 pm

This year, the United States wrestled with how to balance accountability and compassion. Both elements are essential in criminal justice, immigration policy, and poverty-fighting. But how to tell when to apply which—and how much? Government tactics produced mixed results, while Christian ministries worked to provide challenging, personal, and spiritual help to those who need it.

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Associated Press/Photos by Matt Williamson/The Enterprise-Journal

Mississippi minister moved by decorated pothole

by Samantha Gobba
Posted 12/26/19, 12:13 pm

“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, how lovely is thy pothole?” A McComb, Miss., man decided to add a bit of holiday cheer to a pothole in the middle of a city street by erecting a wiry tree on top of the traffic cone marking the damaged pavement. After other residents added decorations and presents to John Drummond’s tree, the Rev. Leon Hitchens of Webb Chapel Church wrote a song about it. “If a man can take a pothole and bring the whole world together, the question is what are you doing to spread the Christmas joy?,” asks the lyrics to “Pothole Christmas Tree.”

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Courtesy of Watered Gardens

Is working for welfare benefits a SNAP?

Poverty | What cuts to food stamps mean, and how churches can fill the gap
by Charissa Koh
Posted 12/11/19, 06:15 pm

At a homeless shelter in Joplin, Mo., a wall by the coffee pot is decorated with food stamps cards. Residents who give up the government benefit add their cards to the wall, symbolizing the way of life they are leaving behind. Jocelyn Brisson, now the shelter director for Watered Gardens, grew up on food stamps and took part in the program from when she was 18 until she turned 50, sometimes trading her card for cash to buy drugs or cigarettes.

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