Find out about the Eastern Service Workers Association

Thursday, March 15th

Eastern Service Workers Association (ESWA) is an all-volunteer, membership association built by and for service workers and others unrecognized by national labor laws who work but don't receive a living wage


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Let's take you again for joining me I'm seeing any matters and this is neighbors in need we appreciate you being here this week in every week in the studio with me today and join dad I mark corn rack standby and field and Cynthia Williams all from the eastern service workers association thank you so much for taking the time out that's. There are many things randomness is great joy if somebody is not familiar with the eastern service workers association ES WK. Can you get little background on what the nation is a year agency. So ES WA is an entirely volunteer run nine government funded membership association of Monroe county's lowest income workers and families located on bay street in the city of Rochester a couple blocks north of the Rochester public market a god. And since 1976. We've been building. Self help organization as a material manifestation of hope it's bringing together our membership of low income workers and families. With individuals and groups from all walks of life meet day to day survival needs such as emergency food clothing utility advocacy. Legal advice to volunteer lowers more. And we've built a strong organization as a means to achieve permanent solutions to our poverty conditions. How many years have you been in Rochester now so yes every day's been in existence here registers since 1976. Obama can so good over forty years about 42 years were celebrating 42 years this year. That is. A huge endeavor when you're not getting any financial aid. From the government right I mean mrs. is as all on your shoulders. Yes and it's all from your passion of of helping individuals in our community. How people are we talking how many families do you serve they're there on the Vermont the week so ever about the 300 people you know some coming. Food. Clothing and I'm advocacy for and electricity and stuff like that everything. Other lawyer help the suffering that we we do quite a Bill Clinton and Obama. In is there a process to be accepted a minute talk. To us it takes about ten minister really sign up as a member okay. We don't ask personal information net but once you become a member you a member of two U. Wanna quit people come in an elite who if they become a member Lincoln turned right around and get food to same day. It's not a whole that we have an emergency food covered. And we give out twist rebate depending on the size. Of flu where do you guys get different from we get food from churches. Kind owed guys we go to caps. And once once or twice a month end they donate people donate food. Also I have run the out subliminal who'd covered and twice a week I go to different stores and get food. We go on Thursday of Freddie and we speed about fifty families this. In used you're talking hundreds of families hundreds of individuals who need this assistance. In new guy Dan you're saying mark cube guide them through. Finding a solution. Or myth. No lot of cases on people or person contact with us that they're facing some took some type of crisis situation. Something along the way happens so you come and with your cape on and save the day right. And then take us from there. So ES and you say is. We see the need to build organization that can give Hong Kong workers a voice in their work together to build collective solutions to the problems that we face. In common as a group. On the one hand we have the benefit program has rocks and intent here describing this geared toward meeting the data Dayne needs. Because in order for low income workers to be able to organize and build longer term solutions they have the dealers survive day to day. It's really hard to think about how you're gonna challenge is the same policies around utility rates if you'd. Are facing utility shut out for yourself where you don't have enough food for your children. So. Taking aim members helping members approach. We build the benefit programs to address those day to day needs. Which then makes it possible for loan coworkers to get involved. And work collectively. Toward the longer term solutions that we need to do what these problems. And unfortunately we live in a community at this point where we have a really high rate of poverty. Rochester has lost tens of thousands of job they used to pay a living wage with a loss of manufacturing jobs or companies like Kodak can boroughs and Iraq's. And so of them that according total community foundation in Rochester community foundation they've done a series of reports on poverty. Well last several years some of them made the front page of the Democrat and chronicle. We are the fifth poorest city United States. One out of three city residents live below the federal Carrillo. That's not even a very good measure of how many people are actually struggling our community. The community foundation report also. Refers to but they cause a self sufficiency index. Which is really wide a family or an individual would need in the way of an income to be able to. Afford basic necessities without having to borrow money from a family member to pay their utility bill or get medical medication. In Monroe co according to figures for Monroe based on Monroe counties. Living expenses if family of four would need an income of about 64000. Dollars. Meet those basic needs OG now yeah. And the majority of jobs that are available that are being created in the current economy are in the service sector. And her low wage part time something like ninety percentage does have been created in this. In the country since the Great Recession of twelfth 2008. I'm so we have a lot of people that are working really hard yen as home health aides temporary workers. Childcare providers. In the end. It really important occupations and our community. Who I still struggling are still struggling examined. And they're doing exactly what they need to do get out there and where write a really important that we as a society. Recognize. That a lot of the occupations are members work and as I mentioned on the health they'd tell everybody we need there was really important occupations. Extremely important and so the problem is that there. Not making a living ways to analyze cases and those occupations. And so that is really kind of the underlying you know issue and problem. And you guys were saying it Rex CNN's Cynthia that you advocate you had a winter campaign would this would airborne early pinned band storms yeah. We have people Colleen. How instantly. Older members people that are need to make sure that they have eat yeah water food blankets whatever they need. And we do this through your forties a week. People can call us or we will have some people in the office Colleen. About. We check on that elderly members. And other members daily when the weather is bad we Colin make sure they okay and and they need something they let us know which acts and and I heard area. Provides. All of them and this and how people to take the let me if they can't come to the office and get it only delivered to them. And advocates for. Not having me he'd shut off to me is a big part of what you guys are. CU which we had one lady. A couple of years ago she's in a motorized wheelchair. She had no electricity. She had to have medication to be kept cold. And her electricity have been turned off we had day actually contact the BSE and they down. Actually got her our Jeannie turned backtrack they ultimately you've got a military going in an irregular Wiltshire was she can't. Nelson told us she did just. It says refrigerator keeper insolent issues as diabetic patient she should discard and getting cooler wet and put ice and in and that. They keep these political. But ended it took. A monitor and it can't actually use another member of the association. Was helping another member yeah took curve. Two weeks of phone calls contacting and the doctor's office. Getting letters written dealing with protests against unless we know that the public service commission to. Prevailed and so people double faulted to crack exactly. As soon as this is the eleventh. Utility advocates. Him around sent him. The people and indeed the they amount to get put out. They can't pay little one bill. And me you know you so we have Bebo deal with how to lay eat pave the grit and the gas and electric because I have children. Well it's another thing to refute your mom must let's say a single mom single parent. And you're working in my nanny is low wage jobs are very important jobs again we need to reinforce that. And you you have to find some how to juggle. Who's gonna watch your kids plus and go to work long hours I mean it is a lot to take time. And that's for you guys come in and help each other out if you feel compelled to help the eastern service workers association can you be a member. Was not in need but. I did desire to help you know advocates for other members yes absolutely yes we have a lot of. People that are members we have organizations. With people in the organization that our members and yes that's what we need we need balance years I don't. You don't really have to be a member to volunteer. If you are a member you can on the net you know can it help that you need it. How many members to arena where the membership of over 20000. Oh Hong Kong workers and families who signed up as members of Rochester Rochester you always get us. Well we also do Monroe County. And one and then you can build that big of a community to help and then you guessed it thorough so you know literally hundreds of individuals and others through their church is so yeah for example turn to the assumption Faire pour it in will be helping us and he can run coach he and members of the church. Help with holiday food drive. On the learn these things first spring right Webster. Men's fellowship. We are on Saturday we had a group of about ten volunteers in the office five of them were students. Three from the University of Rochester one from our AT two from. Rockport. We're joined by a Lutheran pastor and member of his church and when mountain Khamis alone could neighborhoods in a southwest Rochester. As a way to reach won't come workers about the association. So would mean more of right now do you need the donations the money donations. The goods those supplies of food this clothing or do you need actual physical bodies volunteers. Though ladder that thought first and foremost our largest it is always volunteers has learned entirely volunteer run group from top to bottom. Yes there is no page have so we need both full time part time volunteers. I think health and a whole variety of tasks. And people can reach us for our offices as that is at 234 base you were two blocks north of the Rochester public market on the corner bay street and first street our phone number is. I think 565496. Or zero. We need people can go out with us on campuses alone neighborhoods come and help with mail out. I'll put that advocacy that we're just talking about for farmers facing utility shut out make phone calls. Help what they eventually do throughout the year they're that's helped to build community solidarity. And an. It's a good transition into. We're running out of time here but it didn't want to talk about the spring into action campaign. At year's spring family brunch Easter Egg Hunt which is on the 24. At the as very First United Methodist Church can you talk to us a little bit about that. They've done this for years we have people that commend. And they make a full brunt via ham sausage he knee reds. We have three different kinds of eggs. And these kids eat we go through. A number of months who. Now fizzle world week out you still need volunteers or our Gary reality should do okay hallways and the best way to reach out TU again you enter and then again I colonists. At 6549640. Which is our office number and ask for bar myself or Cynthia. I turn around I am intended to back to school campaign which is about the gifts target. And we need help with a day and any man or woman donate school supplies. Because last year was when my lands we try to do we do at least 300 families for. The more help we get lead should duke holding schools of buzz bank acknowledged. That whenever he can donate come and participate Dell outlet it. We're always looking for a hill the volunteers. I know we're all sink in summer summer vacation which you guys are anything to back to school you have to have a family is that the value. Perez just add to that he is serious open seven days a week now and hand and I'm cam we run 365. Days a year poverty doesn't take any vacations unfortunately. No matter how much time we have available or when during the week there's a way you can then make a difference and we have is awesome building on the corner and they shoot first shoot that we've built on what whether they can live about ten years ago. Brought together stellar group of contractors suppliers professionals that made that happen. We just have a benefit office right next story has an emergency food closet clothing closet both of those buildings we install solar panels on last year which has. Part of our commitment to. As a nation we can be tutor our motto which is that we're here to win hammered here in this day and and there are countless numbers of individuals and families in this community. We need this association. And need to kind of change that we're trying to build at the grassroots level easily appreciate the chance to be with you this morning host. Thank you mark racks and Cindy ever on that you guys team aren't Indy I eastern service workers association. Thank you so. Thank you and ten have been.