Unsettled in a Way We Cannot Shake

UnsettledProject Home volunteer and Senior Site Coordinator, Mary Beth Young, support families in their transition from homelessness to stable housing.

By Randi Ilyse Roth, Executive Director

Almost every conversation these days starts with a comment like, “what is going on in this world?”

Every one of us is linked to every other one of us. That is why we cannot look away. We are unsettled in a way we cannot shake.

On one level, the unrest—and the need for a response—is about the death of Philando Castile, and about the heart of the relationship between our community and our police forces.

On another level, though, the unrest—and the need for a response—is about a broader set of issues that undergird the challenges of our times. Our troubles are also about poverty; about stark income, asset, and educational disparities; about the legacy and continuing reality of racially motivated behavior and racially disparate impact in so many aspects of our economic, legal, criminal justice, and educational systems; about generational divides; and about the need for our community to provide high-quality support for all of our children.

How are we to understand what’s happening? What should our leaders—our policy makers—do to respond?

But, equally important, what should each regular person do to respond? We can’t just wait for our leaders to implement a set of policies to make things better.

There is no one answer. There are thousands of answers. Enrich one child’s life through warm, engaged tutoring. Help build the bridge from homelessness to stable housing for one family with small children. Coach one person as she learns to interview for jobs. Support one adult who is trying to work full-time while studying to earn a post-secondary certificate with real labor market value. By engaging, we not only help the other—we also change and immeasurably enrich our own lives.

Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul provides critical volunteer opportunities. And this fall, when Interfaith Action launches our “Infrastructure of Opportunity” program, we will additionally be able to connect 100 key volunteers to opportunities in other highly effective nonprofits. Click “volunteer” on our website to learn about how you can be at least one small part of the change we all want to see.

It is good that every one of us is linked to every other one of us. We need to recognize how connected we are to each other, and we need to find the ways to act to enhance each other’s well-being.

Warm Regards,

Randi Ilyse Roth
Executive Director