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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.