Shedding Light On Hidden People

Jane Ralph, executive director of Construct, spoke at the recent Distinguished Lecture series at Lenox Library focused on the “hidden people” of the Southern Berkshires.

— Berkshire Eagle, March 2, 2023

“The Hidden People of the Berkshires” are not deliberately hiding; they’re simply so busy scraping together their wages to pay for basic food and barely affordable housing, they can’t show up at meetings to plead to community leaders for relief.

On Sunday, about three dozen local residents gathered at the Lenox Library’s latest in its long-running Distinguished Lecture series. The event focused on those so-called “Hidden People” who remain mostly unseen, even though many work at vital service jobs around the county.

Jane Ralph, executive director of Construct, a southern Berkshires organization that provides emergency assistance, financial aid and affordable housing, explained the importance of making such problems, and the people suffering as a result, more visible.

“If you are not secure in your housing, if you are paying more than 30 percent of your income in rent, you probably don’t have the time to be any more visible than you are,” Ralph said. “To some degree, visibility is a privilege.”

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