By Rhea Riley
CEO of Milwaukee’s Social Development Commission (SDC) George P. Hinton joined Faithe Colas on There’s Always Something Good to Talk About, to discuss SDC services and fatherhood.
Before joining SDC, the UWM alum, spent 13 years working in the healthcare field. Hinton previously worked as the President and CEO of Milwaukee’s Aurora Sinai Medical Center. He later joined SDC as their interim CEO in 2013—he took his permanent position as CEO in April of 2014.
Through SDC, Hinton and many others are fighting poverty in the community by providing services and programs to low-income families and persons.
SDC was created as a result of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” campaign and was established in 1963. Now the SDC works as a dual process organization and leads as Wisconsin’s largest Community Action Partner Agency (CAP).
“Our approach is an innovative approach. If you walk in the door and say you have a need,” said Hinton, “We have case managers ready to talk to you.”
Hinton said the most important way to help someone is to address their immediate need, often being their dreams and aspirations. This then allows case managers to find the best programs and services to assist them on their path.
“We start out with this positive thing: what is your dream,” said Hinton, “Because that then starts you to think about where you are going,” said Hinton.
The SDC offers many services with key focuses on work development, education and mental health. They also offer unique partnerships such as partnerships with BizStarts and LaunchMKE to create entrepreneur development programs. Other job readiness programs provided by SDC include “Absolute Advantage” and “YouthBuilders”—both of these programs prep individuals for full-time jobs in the construction industry.
“We are looking at all kinds of ways we can inject resources into our community,” said Hinton. “How do we give those resources to men?”
The SDC also partners with the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative. This initiative hits home for Hinton who only met his father once at the age of 18. He later attributed this experience to becoming a good father to his own family.
“I made a promise at that point that my children would know me,” said Hinton. “I didn’t care who I had a baby with [because] that child will know who their father is, and I would be a part of that child because that’s important to me.”
The SDC and the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative want to encourage fathers to practice and hone their parental skills. Hinton hopes to spread these skills through varying generations. The Fatherhood initiative summit will be held later this year in October.
“When we touch and interact with our children, we have the ability, through natural contact with them, to help develop certain skills that they need to be successful,” said Hinton on the influence of parents and fathers in their children’s life.
The SDC will be hosting other events this fall including a back to school drive on Septemeber from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at SDC located on 17th Street and North Avenue.
Later this month, Wisconsin’s 16 CAP agencies, including SDC, will be involved in the Poverty Summit. The summit is now closed with at least 700 people already RSVP’d. The statewide summit will discuss the issue of generational poverty while sharing varying stories, cultivating economic solutions, and closing the states rural and urban divide.
To learn more about SDC and their upcoming events visit https://www.cr-sdc.org