I was undoubtedly one of the only men ever to visit Mountain Moms, a group formed precisely to heal the wounds that men have inflicted on their wives, their girlfriends, their mothers, even. What reason did they have to trust me with their stories?
Too often people in the United States see individuals like Glynda Jackson and Tamara Daffron and completely misjudge them. They associate low income or receiving eligible benefits with laziness as if living in poverty was a choice. “I don’t know anyone who would choose to live in poverty.”
Despite — and possibly because of — the struggle and vulnerability in Kentucky’s rural communities, the images that truly endure are those of strength, resilience and the grace to still discover both within yourself.
View the photo gallery from Southeast Kentucky
Watch the interview with Scarlette Jasper who reflects on the compassion of a family in need
Watch the interview with Scarlette Jasper who reinterprets rural poverty
Watch the interview with about what makes Glynda Jackson angry
Watch the interview about Tamara Daffron who finds stability through financial health mentorship
On many days, the endless work of combatting rural poverty leaves you in the dark, utterly hopeless, Frances Ford says, but as Perry County’s own begin to build it themselves, hope flickers. True asset-based community development is sluggish work, and, at times, maybe impossible work.