The YWCA’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) provides workshops, one-to-one counseling, and other resources that effectively provide domestic violence survivors and pregnant and parenting teen moms (90% of whom have also experienced domestic violence) living in transitional housing at YWCA Fina House with the tools to become economically independent, obtain and maintain stable housing and provide for their children. While in the program, participants receive a total of 450 hours of workshops, one-to-one instruction and other programs designed to promote economic independence and break the generational cycle of abuse and poverty.
The vast majority of women who return to abusive relationships do so for economic reasons. EEC is designed to help women gain the skills for self-sufficiency, so that they are not forced to choose between putting a roof over their family’s and leaving an abusive partner. EEP Programs are also available to women living in YWCA permanent housing, and include:
- Financial Literacy using the Allstate Foundation’s “Moving Ahead through Financial Management” curriculum, which was developed to specifically address the needs of abuse survivors. This comprehensive course has been adopted by 44% of domestic violence programs nationwide.
- Understanding and establishing credit, as well as working to repair damaged credit.
- Steps to obtaining and maintaining permanent housing, and understanding the obligations renters have and the costs and obligations associated with being a tenant.
- Job Readiness training including how to create a resume, complete job applications, interview effectively and understanding workplace etiquette.
- Workshops on accessing job training programs, higher education opportunities and accessing financial aid. Case managers also refer women to GED classes and support them in order to be successful.
- Individual case management and counseling.
- After Care, to support women once they exit YWCA Fina House.
EEP is coordinated by YWCA employees with extensive experience working with trauma survivors. All programs are culturally appropriate and typically offered in English and Spanish. Classes and workshops are scheduled according to clients’ needs, and complement daily work and school schedules.
The YWCA is always seeking volunteers from the community to provide services such as assistance with resume writing or interviewing skills, or to provide child care while mothers participate in workshops. For information about volunteering, contact Laura DiPersia, or call her at 978.687.0331 x1052.