Helping those with the longest climb

It may be true that the high tide of prosperity lifts all boats, at least to some degree.

Money spreads. As you've read on these pages in recent weeks, charitable giving in the United States, for example, is expected to hit a new high-water mark, with $200 billion donated in 2000.

But the New Economy has also seen its share of "left behinds." Not everyone got to enjoy running with the bulls, a practice that had begun to feel like a cakewalk until the current slowdown began.

Even in the heady 1990s, a fair number of people were far too preoccupied with finding shelter to care about the stock market.

At least 2.3 million Americans endure a spell of homelessness in a given year, according to a report last February by the Washington-based Urban Institute.

Many see employment as a way out. A December 1999 report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found the top priority among homeless people was getting a job.

For this day-after-Christmas issue, we thought we'd spotlight a case study in the proverbial "hand up, not a handout" approach to steering the less fortunate onto the path toward self-reliance.

This Seattle story is about a confluence of the good works of two women. One overcame drug addiction to find success in the restaurant business, then set out to help others share her triumph.

The second woman introduced her to teaching tactics adapted from the high-flying, consultant-filled world of executive training.

What's needed among corporate chieftains, it seems, is also needed among those reaching for the first rung of the business ladder: an ability to set goals and to communicate. Those who teach such skills are spreading wealth, too.

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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