The Women’s Empowerment Program at West End Intergenerational Residence is an essential part of the services we provide our residents and includes a variety of informative, enriching, and self-care programs that impart the skills needed to maintain housing stability, and empower homeless and formerly homeless young mothers and older adults.
Most of the young mothers at West End Intergenerational Residence are survivors of domestic or family violence. Often they lack the self-confidence and the socioemotional tools to manage responsibility for their children’s lives as well as their own. Many struggle to avoid unhealthy relationships, and to break the cycles of violence and homelessness in their families. Many of our senior residents have a history of chronic homelessness and have experienced their own cycles of violence and poverty.
The Women’s Empowerment Program focuses on skills homeless and formerly homeless young mothers and older adults need to maintain housing stability. Our workshops impart life such as grocery shopping, domestic skills, financial literacy, household budgeting, nutrition, healthy relationships and abuse prevention, understanding early childhood development, and parenting classes. We offer educational and vocational assessments.
We foster an environment where residents can take classes and celebrate together. Events this past year include birthday celebrations, a holiday visit from Santa, a Valentine’s Day brunch, a Mother’s Day event with spa-themed gift bags, celebrating the senior men with gifts of casual dress shirts, and a Women’s Empowerment Achievement Day celebrating personal successes.
Alma and her two young children arrived at West End Intergenerational Residence in the summer of 2018. Her caseworker helped the family access early intervention disability services for Alma’s toddler son, including bus services so he could attend school in the fall. Alma worked with the Women’s Empowerment Program manager, building on Alma’s natural inquisitiveness to help her organize her goals and develop healthy outlets for her emotions. To visualize her motivations, Alma created a vision board. Her vision: a safe home for her children.
Alma enrolled in home health aide training, and earned a certificate in the program. With that training, Alma found employment that allowed her family to transition out of the shelter and into permanent housing.
*Name changed for the family’s privacy