ROC Ripples — 10.30.20

The American dream … the freedom to attain prosperity and success. What a noble aspiration. When some seem to be unable to attain our definition of prosperity and success, we often comment that they should simply “pull themselves up by the bootstraps.”

First of all, grab the shoes on your feet and try to pull yourself up! Let’s assume this isn’t an oxymoron and ponder the question, “What if you don’t have any bootstraps?”

In his book “90 Feet Under: What Poverty Does to People” (a good read), John Strazzabosco pares down the list of things that poverty does to an individual to 90. He then takes the reader through an exercise that forces them to understand how, even if we address the top three or five of these, there are still more than 80 that will continue to prevent the movement out of poverty.


The ROC tries to bring together as many resources as possible to address as many of John’s list as possible. It’s hard work for both the person committed to helping themselves and for those trying to assist this person.

But, we know we can achieve some level of success.

Take Jeff. Three years ago, Jeff was part of our Code Blue program; homeless during the winter. Because Code Blue is housed within the ROC, he received the kind of care and access to resources to begin to see his future differently.

Jeff became a ROC participant. He set goals, accessed available resources and began the slow movement out of his 90-foot hole.

This summer Jeff became the proud owner of a mobile home! Through his hard work, wrap-around resources through the ROC, and, with the help of so many generous people in our community – you – Jeff has achieved his dream.

For this we all should give thanks.


Frank Cerny, PhD, MDiv
Executive Director

Sometimes ripples turn into tsunamis!

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