Tag Archive | Mother’s Day

To Avoid Reincarceration, Mothers Need Support and Employment

By Jeanne E. Murray, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Ardella

This Mother’s Day, we want to recognize incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women with children. Women represent the fastest growing population in prison. Over the last 30 years, the female prison population has grown by over 800 percent, and more than 60 percent of women prisoners are parents to children under age 18. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women are likely to have low educational attainment and experience mental health or substance use issues, and many are survivors of domestic violence. These barriers, combined with long gaps in work history and the stigma of a criminal record, can make it difficult for formerly incarcerated women to find and keep jobs once they’re back home. To help these women stay out of prison and successfully reenter their communities, it’s critical that employment services be a part of the programming that formerly incarcerated women receive.

Ardella’s House in Philadelphia aims to reduce recidivism by helping women successfully transition back into their communities. Ardella’s House provides women support and guidance along with addressing their career placement and vocational and educational training needs. This month, the National Initiatives team spoke with Tonie Willis, the Director of Ardella’s House, to discuss the important issues facing women who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated—including getting and keeping jobs.

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A Social Enterprise Helps Lift Young Moms out of Poverty

By Caitlin C. Schnur, Workforce Research and Policy Fellow, NTJN

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In honor of Mother’s Day, the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN) recently caught up with Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise that’s hard at work selling first-rate candles and bath products and changing young mothers’ lives. Bright Endeavors is a part of New Moms, Inc., a Chicago-based social service agency that helps adolescent mothers experiencing or at risk of homelessness move toward economic independence.  Employment is an essential part of this formula.

Through transitional jobs at Bright Endeavors, young women develop critical skills such as teamwork, leadership, and conflict management while working for a real business that is supported by sales revenue.  John Guido, Bright Endeavors’ Manager of Sales and Business Development, agrees that offering employment training in a social enterprise setting raises the stakes for staff and participants, but he’s confident Bright Endeavors’ young moms are on-track to succeed.  “Our participants continually amaze all of us at Bright Endeavors,” says John. “The steps they’re taking to improve their futures speak to the strength of the human spirit.”  Read on to learn more about this mom-friendly (and eco-friendly!) social enterprise that’s dedicated to transforming the lives of at-risk young women and their children.

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