At HOPE we work to provide women with the skills they need to
ensure independence and self sufficiency while being able to both work and meet their other responsibilities. Our computer training prepares women for the next step in furthering their careers or education. We work hard to understand the needs of our participants as well as their other roles. Many of the women are single mothers or the primary caretaker of the home and children. They are being asked by society to be caring and competent mothers as well as independent from state or federal assistance. Are we asking too much? Are we sacrificing our children’s futures? We may be doing so if we ask these women to support their families with little or no education. A woman who enters the workforce with
little job experience and no education is going to struggle to find a minimum wage job and will have to work overtime just to make ends meet. Her daycare costs may outweigh her salary thus encouraging her to not to seek employment.
Programs like Head Start, early Head Start and CAPS may allow women to return to work without paying all of their income to daycare, but these programs are struggling with federal cuts to funding and often have waiting lists for their
much needed services. If given the choice to be with her children or work a grueling minimum wage job paying almost her whole check to someone else to watch her children what choice would you make?
When we look at the family decision making process around returning to work, childcare subsidies factor heavily into the decision. Unless we can provide a living wage to women and the training necessary to secure employment in such a job we are really hindering the decision making process and not giving her many options she can feel good about. We have basically told her that she is not a contributing member of society if she receives public assistance, but takes care of her children at home or that she is a bad mother for working a minimum wage job and having others raise her child while she works double shifts to make ends meet.
HOPE is committed to providing the training necessary so women in our community can make an informed decision based on options not based on doing the least for themselves or their children.
What do you think?
House of Peace & Education, Inc.