What is Voice of the Poor (VOP)?
Voice of the Poor is the advocacy arm of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. As followers of Christ, we are challenged to help create conditions for marginalized voices to be heard, to defend the defenseless and to assess policies and social institutions in terms of their impact on the poor. Voice of the Poor calls Vincentians to speak to the larger society with a single voice and address root causes of poverty.
How Does VOP Serve the Poor?
Voice of the Poor activities are a natural extension of our roles as Vincentians. Members of the Society serve on the front lines, in solidarity with the poor by providing food, shelter and other emergency services. However, lasting long-term assistance to the poor requires looking at the larger political and economic picture. Guided by the fundamentals of Catholic social teaching, VOP committee members research and evaluate issues and governmental policies. The Diocesan Council Board first approves positions on legislative items. The Diocesan Board President serves as the Society's official spokesperson. VOP works to educate Vincentians and decision-makers regarding the impact of legislation on the poor and marginalized.
SVDPUSA Statement on Health Care Reform
Position Statement on Health Care for the Poor
Repair the Safety Nets as Poverty Worsens
Independent Sector—Policy Proposals
Position Statement on Hunger
Position Statement on Restorative Justice
Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm Fighting to Retain Adequate Energy Assistance Funding
The Obama administration has proposed reducing the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to about half of its authorized level of $5.1 billion, which will have a devastating impact on Michigan.
Roughly 1.2 million Michigan households are eligible for energy assistances. Even when the program was fully funded, only about half of Michigan's eligible households actually received help. If funding for the program is cut in half, it's projected that only about 25% of Michigan eligible households will receive help.
The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, which was formed in 1987, has been re-energized to ensure that Michigan receives adequate federal funding for energy assistance initiatives including The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), the State Emergency Relief (SER) program, the Home Heating Credit and home weatherization.
The 2012 LIHEAP appropriation will be decided by the president, House and Senate by late August. Budget bills are moving - so now is the time to act.
To learn more about the issues at hand, or to take action, visit and bookmark the coalition's new website at http://www.coalitiontokeepmichiganwarm.org. Check back frequently for updates.
Michigan League for Human Services
Please check out four compelling videos about the importance of the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit. "We are the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit" shares the stories of three hard-working families and a small business owner.
It is vitally important to reach out to your legislators today and encourage your networks to do the same.
Please tell lawmakers to support the EITC. It helps keep kids out of poverty and aids working families and small businesses throughout our state.
Please see the press release and the social media release about the project.
Latest from the Voice of the Poor Committee
MCC Advocacy Flyer