Heather Black

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Video: Bridging the Gap Between Social Classes

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-They say you don’t know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.

One Starkville organization is committed to helping you do just that.

The first step to eliminate poverty is to work together and understand it…

Many gathered together at the Sportsplex in Starkville for a workshop designed to help bridge the gap between people on both sides of the poverty line.

“Bridges out of Poverty” is a training session for individuals throughout the community to learn about poverty and the hidden rules amongst each class.

“What we are hoping to do is to build a good bridges community where we start to seek to understand those people that are in poverty and then be able to take what we learn about that, bring people from poverty to the table with us to help design the solution,” says Lynn Gaines.

“Getting Ahead” is another class organized by Starkville Bridges for individuals living in poverty. Ericka Gillespie, a recent graduate from the class, says after learning how to better her situation she now wants to help get more of the Middle class connected.

“Middle class should become involved with helping people in poverty and that the communities should make this program part of their community,” says Ericka Gillespie.

Doug Delvin wanted to be a part of this workshop because of the positive change it has on so many lives.

“What really attracts me to this particular event was it focused on changing the paradigms that we in the middle class have about people in poverty. It’s been an eye opening experience for me to say the least,” says Doug Derlin.

A Secondary Education Major at Mississippi State, Kessler Brown believes the workshop will allow her to help children living in poverty.

“I really want to bring that into the education field. I think taking all of this and relating it back to children and knowing where they are coming from will really help bridge the gap,” says Kessler Brown.

Lyn Gaines, the Director of the program, says when both classes understand one another that’s when communities will see progress.

“To really be able to put on the lenses of somebody from poverty and then to have people and then to have people in poverty be able to put on the lenses to understand why people in the middle class are always telling them what to do,” says Gaines.

For more information about the non-profit organization just go to Starkvillebridges.com