Bridging the Gaps: A Conversation on Connecting Services for People in Poverty

Leaders from nonprofits, human services agencies, community groups and the faith community gathered for a community conversation on how to better connect services and help with people in poverty.

The Jan. 28 event at the Maestro Center, hosted by San Antonio Department of Human Services, was the second Community Conversation in a four-part series on Poverty.

The first conversation, in October 2019, examined economic segregation and the service gaps in San Antonio. (read more or watch that video here)

This second conversation focused on ways to partner and bridge the gaps to services in the city. (scroll down to read more)

This video recording was made possible thanks to support from the San Antonio Department of Human Services


Community Faith-Based Liaison Rev. Ann E. Helmke led the conversation whose central participants were a core group of community leaders:

  • Edward Gonzales, Assistant Director of Neighborhood Housing Services Dept., City of San Antonio with extensive cross-sector experience in Human Services
  • Sister Denise LaRock, a leader in the Interfaith Welcome Coalition; effective partnership across faith lines & community sectors in offering hospitality to immigrants & refugees
  • Shokare Nakpodia, the man behind DreamWeek, small business owner of The MightyGroup; bridge builder between people and ideas about tolerance, equality & diversity
  • Patti Radle, community organizing via Inner City Development; SAISD School Board, former City Council, founding board member Haven for Hope, 2011 SA Peace Laureate
  • Christian Reed-Ogba, ECHU Public Relations; bringing community together through design, conversation and the digital world
  • Derick Wilson, Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, St. Philip's College, member of Corrymeela Community, a reconciliation center in Northern Ireland since 1965; reconciliation and restorative practices

The central participants and then the audience members were asked to consider and discuss the following questions:

  1. Name one example of the most essential and effective, explicit and intentional methods of bridging work across lines and sectors of community.
  2. In what order would those bridge-building steps go? What steps are missing? Where would you begin?
  3. Agree on the necessary first step then discuss who will put that step into action and when that will happen.