Lori Beamer, Director of Operations and Outreach

May 30, 2014

Lori Beamer, Executive Director lori@coactiveconnections.net; (971) 599‑3093

Hi, my name is Lori Beamer. I am co-founder and Direc­tor of Oper­a­tions and Out­reach of CoAc­tive Con­nec­tions. I appre­ci­ate your inter­est in our orga­ni­za­tion. Below is a brief bio, shar­ing a lit­tle bit of who I am and why work­ing in the field of poverty aware­ness edu­ca­tion is so impor­tant to me.

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia was home for the first 12 years of my life. We lived a work­ing class to lower-middle class lifestyle. This gave us the priv­i­lege of own­ing a home, being able to shop freely for gro­ceries, live in a safe neigh­bor­hood and have health­care when we needed it. As a child I felt secure in my home.

It was in my young adult life as a divorced sin­gle mother that I expe­ri­enced need and inse­cu­rity because of my finan­cial sit­u­a­tion. Rely­ing on my fam­ily for finan­cial sup­port was a neces­sity. It was a bless­ing to be able to rely on them in my time of need. It is a rare day that I do not wake up or go to bed think­ing about what it might be like to be home­less or in need.

The expe­ri­ences I have had through­out my life have greatly con­tributed to my com­pas­sion for folks liv­ing in poverty, adults and chil­dren. It is not a stretch for me to imag­ine being unable to get health­care when needed. It’s uncom­fort­able to imag­ine not hav­ing enough money to buy food or pay rent, much less be able to afford child­care and a car. I also know what it feels like to make life deci­sions or raise a child when there is a cri­sis in my life. My expe­ri­ence and that of so many oth­ers is that deci­sion mak­ing under cri­sis can look a lot dif­fer­ent than when I am com­posed, safe and secure. My life expe­ri­ences allowed me to glimpse what poverty might look and feel like; but then be able to turn to fam­ily to get my basic needs met.

My pas­sion for the well-being of oth­ers has caused me to be involved in numer­ous ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions in my com­mu­nity as a vol­un­teer. I con­tinue doing so as long as I am able. In my cre­ative time; I enjoy gar­den­ing, art, yoga, dragon boat pad­dling, and time with my won­der­ful hus­band, chil­dren and grandchildren.

The vision I bring to this work is to share authen­tic infor­ma­tion, per­sonal sto­ries and cur­rent data with com­mu­ni­ties and orga­ni­za­tions that serve folks expe­ri­enc­ing poverty. I believe that after receiv­ing poverty aware­ness edu­ca­tion, peo­ple will take more effec­tive action regard­ing poverty and in a way that hon­ors real life sit­u­a­tions with com­pas­sion, cre­ativ­ity, dig­nity and enthu­si­asm. I believe that with edu­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion, we can build com­mu­nities free of poverty.

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  • The training taught me to “manage what I have better and be more aware of the stress level it causes to not be able to meet ‘your’ needs.” (Poverty Awareness Training participant)