, Muskogee, OK

May 10, 2013

Anti-poverty workshop Saturday

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A city anti-poverty initiative works two ways — through educating those in poverty and educating those who aren’t, an official said.

The Bridges Out of Poverty program not only works with those struggling to get out of poverty, but also holds workshops for those who wish to help others break out, said Tom Martindale, coordinator for the initiative.

An introductory workshop about Bridges Out of Poverty is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Muskogee Public Library, 801 W. Okmulgee Ave.

The workshop is free, with a break for lunch, which is not provided.

The workshop is for business owners, industry leaders, people in social services fields — anyone who comes in contact with people in poverty,

“Everybody in Muskogee that’s not in poverty, literally,” Martindale said. “Especially people from the faith-based community that are in the habit of assisting people in poverty anyway. We’ve held some of these workshops in the past at local churches for that very reason. The pastors realize that even the people volunteering from the church can benefit from the workshops.”

The workshop format is presentation and discussion, he said, and topics are intended to help those in a position to help others understand the challenges those in poverty face, he said.

“Far too many of us think that the thing that will solve property is people just need to get a job,” Martindale said. “What they don’t understand is it is a heck of a lot more complex than that. The real objective of the workshop is to be able to demonstrate to everybody the complexities of poverty.”

Topics that will be discussed include the hidden rules of class, mental models, language and register and future story, he said.

Registration is preferred, as there are only 50 seats available, Martindale said.

Information also will be provided about the programs “Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting-By World,” a 20-week program for those struggling to get out of poverty, and the National Circles Campaign.

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the library.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or

If you go

WHAT: Bridges Out of Poverty workshop.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday with a break for lunch.

WHERE: Muskogee Public Library, 801 W. Okmulgee Ave.

RSVP: Tom Martindale, (918) 510-6422 or Nonprofit Resource Center, (918) 683-4600.