Figuring out what constitutes a low-income situation can be tricky, especially when it comes to recognizing precisely when “affordability” trumps income when measuring poverty. But given that that’s what most aid does, someone—in this case, a specific type of aid—has to do it.
And to understand how to implement an aid that targets a low-income scenario, one must understand where the money goes. That’s where James Gutierrez comes in. Gutierrez has been trying to address low-income circumstances and has been researching how to use U.S. and other overseas development aid to address poverty at the individual level for the last decade.
James Gutierrez’s innovation entails meeting people’s needs for affordable, healthy food in under-resourced communities. Let’s face it: few places in the United States are more deprived than the low-income neighborhoods that border rich ones, as one winds its way through Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. A growing number of these neighborhoods are without grocery stores; they don’t even have restaurants in parts of Queens.
Low-income communities often experience harsh weather conditions that become amplified in harsh winters. As an immigrant to the United States,James Gutierrez quickly noticed that many of the problems in his community were not fixable by him or other community leaders but rather by the federal government. James Gutierrez’s goal since his arrival here was to find creative and innovative ways to make our city and country better and, more importantly, build a system to fight for those causes.
An award-winning engineer, Gutierrez has been a featured speaker at the United Nations, Fortune 100 companies, community forums, and congressional hearings. In addition, Gutierrez has received several awards for his philanthropic work from San Diego and the County of San Diego.
Currently, James Gutierrez serves as director of community outreach at the Enlace Community Development Corporation. The San Bernardino-based organization founded in 1987 helps to build low-income Latino families’ wealth and combat poverty in the community.