This morning, the Huffington Post ran an editorial piece written by NHSA President and CEO Irv Katz titled, “Who Lands in the Safety Net?” In the piece, Irv questions why the conversation around human services has become about, “them,” a distant and dehumanized subject, when in reality each and every life is impacted by human services. He says,
If all legislators looked more closely–if we all did–we could see in our circle of friends, acquaintances and family, people who experience nearly every challenge known to mankind, the same developmental needs and trials as our population as a whole.
The “otherizing” of people who use the safety net or human services more broadly is both demagoguery and inaccurate. The truth is, it’s not them; it’s us.
This personalized, broad perspective is necessary to establish in the conversations around our vital human services programs. In order to garner greater support for the human services field, the appeal for support needs to be catered to the listener’s personal experiences with the human services field.