Bridges Out of Poverty workshop offered by Ohio University Southern

Published 1:00 pm Monday, September 30, 2019

Ohio University Southern hosted a special training on Thursday to provide a greater understanding of the dynamics that cause and perpetuate poverty in the wake of the opioid epidemic.

The “Bridges Out of Poverty” workshop was funded by a Rural Development grant from the USDA and was targeted to providers and agencies who work in education, health care, social services, mental health and addiction services, criminal justice, faith and other areas of the region’s workforce.

Bridges Out of Poverty is a nationally-known curriculum created by Ruby K. Payne, an American educator and author known for work on the culture of poverty and its relation to education. Applied to substance use disorder and those who work in the “helping industries”, this framework offers strategies that better engage and support individuals in crisis. The workshop was offered in partnership with Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities coalition.

Email newsletter signup

As the region continues to work on overcoming the effects of substance use disorder related to opioids and other drugs, Ohio Southern has been offering trainings through its Workforce Success initiative in an effort to support the community with new strategies to be effective in their work. “Ohio Southern offered the session in response to needs expressed by local employers who work with children and families in long term recovery,” said Sarah Diamond Burroway, director of External Relations and Workforce Success. About 100 people attended the session Thursday on the Ironton campus.

Workshop topics included techniques for analyzing poverty through the prism of hidden rules of class, resources, family structure and language; examining current approaches in service industries and learning to better understand people in crisis or living in poverty; and determining ways to make current social service strategies more effective.

The Coalition provided the workshop presenters which included Todd Young, Executive Director of the Neighborhood; Renee Parsons, director of Salvation Army Service Center/Emergency Shelter; and, Geri Willis, retired Ashland Schools Family Resource Center coordinator.

Diamond Burroway said OUS will offer additional workshops through spring 2020 to provide professional development and workforce trainings to support the area employers who work with children and families impacted by substance use disorder. “Education is key to help the community overcome the issues resulting from the opioid crisis,” she said.