Hundreds of supporters and county leaders gathered Wednesday as the Bucks County Opportunity Council honored 17 county residents who graduated from its Economic Self-Sufficiency program by building the skills needed to climb out of poverty and get jobs to earn a living wage.
Poverty in Bucks County has many faces.
It’s a woman working a factory job during the day but circling a store parking lot with her teenage son at night, searching for a place to sleep. It’s a 28-year-old man — with only a trash bag of clothes to call his own — serving cheesesteaks and mowing lawns by day and couch surfing at night. It’s a sleep-deprived woman sitting in a classroom, juggling nursing school and three young children, and unable to manage the monthly bills.
Yet, the people behind these faces had a different side of their story to share Wednesday night.
Graciously shining in the spotlight, they expressed just how dramatically paths can change once the Bucks County Opportunity Council steps in. Hundreds of supporters and county leaders gathered Wednesday as they and 14 others were honored for graduating from the council’s economic self-sufficiency program by building the skills needed to climb out of poverty and get jobs to earn a living wage. The honorees symbolized the success of the council’s mission to help local families facing crisis situations achieve long-term stability, said Erin Lukoss, the Opportunity Council’s executive director.