‘Nuns on Bus’ focus on effects of budget cuts on struggling Americans
The big colorful bus sponsored by Network, a Catholic social justice lobby group from Washington, stopped in Dubuque June 19, the second day of its tour through nine states to alert people to how cuts in the proposed Ryan budget would harm those already struggling.
The 15-day tour, dubbed by its organizers as “Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith Family and Fairness,” stopped at the parking lot of Maria House, which provides emergency transitional housing for women, to highlight the work of Catholic sisters and their collaborators whose ministries serve the poor.
Maria House, a collaborative project of six Catholic women’s religious congregations in the tri-state area, the Dubuque Food Pantry, and the Presentation Lantern Center, which provides tutoring to immigrants, are all on the same block. Crescent Community Health Center is a few blocks away.
Tia, a young single mother of two children, told the crowd of sisters, legislators and others gathered on the hot summer morning how proposed cuts in the federal budget would affect her. She plans to move out of Maria House soon and says the skills she has learned there will give her family a better future, but she desperately needs other services.
“My Title XIX benefit allows my family to see a doctor when we are sick,” she said. “Otherwise, I would have no form of health care and the doctor bills would definitely pile up.”
Like many others, Tia relies on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to feed her children. Health benefits and the nutrition program are just two of several items that would receive huge cuts if the proposed federal budget that passed the House in May were adopted.
“We come today to speak out, to complain that the House budget proposed by Congressman (Paul) Ryan is wrong, wrong, wrong,” said Sister Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service who has served as executive director of Network since 2004. [More]