“I really care about our community, and I want to say that upfront so you guys understand my heart,” Justin Arnold said. “But, at the same time, there are a lot of problems with it that we just don’t pay attention to."
The local housing coalition hosted its first “Lunch and Learn” on Tuesday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Eighteen people representing several area companies and organizations attended the event.
As the keynote speaker, Arnold called for the coalition to take a new direction.
“We have this idea that we are something that we are no longer,” he said. “If we keep doing the same things that we’re doing, we are going to fail, we are going to fall apart.”
Arnold shared a personal story of financial trouble while living in the Grand Haven area. He said he understood poverty because he experienced it firsthand.
People need education to rise above poverty, Arnold said.
“They don’t need one more frozen chicken, they don’t need one more box of macaroni, and they don’t need one more love seat,” he said. “They need an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree and an education that will get them a job so they can earn a living wage.”
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
— By Emily Anderson, Tribune intern