Dec. 1, 2006 — The Mid-Island Rotary Club of St. Croix recently spotlighted poverty and homelessness with a visit from guest speaker U.S. District Attorney Anthony Jenkins.
"Out of all the sins I have committed," Jenkins began Thursday, "one thing I have always kept was a deep compassion for human beings."
Jenkins felt compelled to speak to the club about the topic of poverty and homelessness because of its efforts to combat the issue throughout the territory.
Jenkins said he intends to devote the remainder of his time in his position to address issues of homelessness and poverty throughout the islands.
"I have devoted at least 10 percent of my income to various social issues throughout the community," said Jenkins, who attributed his love for people in need with his faith in a higher power. Jenkins said he was waiting on government approval to begin his own organization to fight homeless. Mid-Island Rotarians quickly offered to be a part of the organization with him.
"I am concerned about these issues because I am trying to be a person devoted to the Christian faith," Jenkins said. "The central commandment in all religious faiths is a love for your fellow man."
Jenkins, who said he knows all the homeless by name on his home island of St. Thomas, declared that the community needs to do more. "The cost would be high," he said, yet Jenkins feels the islands can afford to address the issues.
"I have seen luxury and richness abound throughout the territory," he said. "The trouble isn't that we don't have enough, but are we good enough human beings to show compassion, care and concern to those less fortunate."
Jenkins said with all the advancements the world has made, we are still lacking. "We have mastered technology but haven't mastered the basic God-given characters of men," he said. "We haven't learned to be just, honest and true."
Although Jenkins commended Mid-Island on its efforts to combat poverty in the territory, he said, "We are not doing enough." Noting that there are weeks and days dedicated to combating issues of poverty and homeless, Jenkins said, "What about the other 51 weeks; what about the other 364 days?"
While Jenkins did not offer any solutions to Rotarians, club president Beverly A. Hermon Beck called the speech "invaluable and incredibly informative."
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