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Committee On Church Cooperation Says Undocumented Won't Be Denied Help

by: mooncat

Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 08:06:52 AM CDT

The Board of Morgan County's Committee on Church Cooperation held a public meeting last night to reaffirm that the organization's purpose ...

... “is to build cooperative efforts among the churches of Morgan County to provide emergency and short-term assistance to persons in need, in the name of Jesus Christ.” The sole basis on which assistance will be offered will continue to be (and always has been) CCC’s assessment of an individual’s physical needs.”

They also rolled out the welcome mat for people in need, even if they lack documents:

“If somebody has been denied service, bring them back,” said board member Sam Janis. “If there are undocumented individuals, bring them in. Bring a translator with you, and we’ll do the very best that we can. There is no intent to exclude people from service.”

This affirmation of purpose from the CCC Board is welcome and necessary in light of comments CCC Executive Director Gayle Monk made to the Decatur Daily indicating that the organization was turning away undocumented applicants, especially Hispanics.  Unfortunately, it's very hard to square what Ms. Monk said last week ...

"The majority of the Hispanics, No. 1, can't speak English when they come in here and, No. 2, have a Social Security card that is fake," Monk said. "The majority of them that come in here don't have everything they need, and they don't come back."


"It used to be about 10 percent (Hispanics) that we served," Monk said. "Since cracking down, I haven't seen anybody, especially in the last month.

With what she said last night ...

John Bush, a member of the audience, asked the board Tuesday why the number of Hispanics had dropped.

“We’ve been helping them all along,” replied Monk. “The only thing I can figure out is that somebody else has run them off. We’ve never turned them away.”

And when a reporter asked Ms. Monk to square those two statements, she didn't even try.

“I can’t talk right now,” Monk said. “I’m sorry, I just can’t.”

That's probably for the best. 

The CCC shouldn't even be asking for Social Security cards at all.  There are many ways to prove Morgan County residency -- driver's license, utility bill, rental agreement, etc. -- but a SS card (no address on it) isn't one of them.   On the other hand, if they're looking for an excuse to turn people away "in the name of Jesus Christ," then close scrutiny of SS cards is a great thing.

It's reassuring to know that the Board of Directors has their priorities straight -- feeding the hungry is the CCC's purpose, checking citizenship papers is not -- but they need to keep a close eye on the day to day operations of the CCC to make sure that's what's actually happening.  So do the churches and other organizations that contribute to this relief organization. 

mooncat :: Committee On Church Cooperation Says Undocumented Won't Be Denied Help
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Translation... (4.00 / 2)
"The churches threatened to pull our funding and take their toys elsewhere if we didn't straighten up our act."

Perhaps cynical (4.00 / 1)

But that's my reading of the situation, too.  Which makes it all the more important for the churches and other CCC sponsors to watchdog this new, old policy for screening applicants.  I don't see any reason for the SS# requirement.  It doesn't confirm residency within the county, it doesn't confirm need ... all it does is discourage Hispanics and anyone else who has issues with providing "official government documents."

As long as the overzealous document-checkers stay in charge at the CCC, there's reason to worry they will backslide.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Why . . (4.00 / 1)
Why is Ms. Monk still employed as Executive Director of this organization?

Doggone got in ahead of me with that question. (0.00 / 0)
Some people DO need to be turned away, starting with the Monk.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]



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