Thrive Excelsior: Bridging the Gap


Thrive Excelsior is Bridging the Career, Health, and Housing Gaps to Improve Quality of Life for Residents of Excelsior Springs

Written by April Graham

This is for you.

The parent working multiple jobs or picking up odd jobs on the side to try to earn extra income. 

The person trying to get a ride to the pick n’ pull to get used parts to repair a car before the next days work. The family deciding which utility they will keep and which will get shut off because they can’t pay every bill that month. 

The same family that will have to eventually scrape the money together to pay the high late fees and reconnection fees on the utility they couldn’t pay. 

The parent crying on the way to a low wage job because the person they depend on to provide childcare was late – making the parent late for work and terrified of being fired from a job they desperately need.

The person who made some bad choices years ago and has worked hard to be better – but still struggles to get a good job due to a past conviction. 

The person needing more training to have the right skills for today’s workplace. 

I’d bet that this sounds familiar to many of you. You may even have first hand experience…

Many in our community and across the nation struggle with generational poverty. Once someone falls into poverty, they face countless barriers to getting out over poverty: income instability due to the nature of work they can access, housing instability due to income instability, cost of childcare as a barrier to work, cost or access to transportation as a barrier to work, the cost of training or retraining for better jobs, lack of access to quality healthcare leading to increased health issues that make it harder to retain work, and the list goes on and on. 

Children growing up in this environment face tremendous barriers and have an even more difficult time escaping poverty as they grow up. Poverty is passed down generation to generation. 

There are a lot of people trying to escape poverty and they are struggling. There are so many barriers. It’s important that we recognize this and don’t lump them in with the small number of people who flaunt their irresponsibility and unwillingness to work. 

It’s easier to push the problem off on people by blaming them for their poverty. Especially when some people really are choosing it over working to improve their situation. But lots of people are silently struggling and trying to do better – and they’re encountering monumental challenges every step of the way. 

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We need to work together to help break down the barriers for all the people who are trying. 

In our community, Thrive Excelsior, is working to help improve life in Excelsior Springs. Follow the Thrive Excelsior Facebook page for updates on career opportunities, resources, training programs, and more. 

Don’t see what you need? Just ask! Send a message or post on the Thrive Excelsior facebook page and they will try to make the needed connections. 

Encourage the people in your life who could benefit from these resources to use them. Help your friends and neighborhoods find opportunities and have the confidence and support to pursue them.

This is a fairly new initiative and with your support and engagement – we can help Excelsior thrive.


Other articles you might enjoy:
Beyond the Farmers Market: Shopping Local for Veggies, Meat, and More

Food Trucks in ES Draw Hundreds

A Look Back at Excelsior Springs History


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