Since a perk of my work is learning what amazing non-profits are doing to help families survive these difficult economic times, I was thrilled to talk to Crittenton Women’s Union, an .org located in Boston, MA. CWU provides direct services, conducts research, and advocates for public policy to better support low-income women in their journey to economic self-sufficiency.
The foundation of CWU’s work is a theory of change for what moves a family from poverty to self-sufficiency, Bridge to Self-Sufficiency. This model not only provides strategy and internal structure for developing programs and measuring outcomes, it gives the CWU clients a tangible set of goals to strive for in the difficult journey from poverty to economic independence.
CWU has a keen focus on specific, relevant data such as their Economic Independence Calculator that determines the actual costs of living depending on family size and location. A single mom in Boston with an infant and school-aged child knows she’ll need earn almost $60K/yr (about $28/hr) to achieve economic independence. This data is linked to Hot Jobs, “careers that require two years or less of post-secondary education or training, meet the Massachusetts Economic Independence Index income level for a single-parent family with two children, and currently post high-vacancy rates.” CWU is giving a woman clear, meaningful data to develop a career path that offers opportunity for advancement and breaks the cycle of poverty for her children.
To see what your community’s livable wage is, visit the National Center for Childhood Poverty’s Basic Needs Budget Calculator.
What is your community doing to support upward economic mobility of disadvantaged families? I’d love to share your story!
- Moving to less poor area may help fight obesity (cbc.ca)
- America’s lost economic decade – Great Recession – Salon.com (mbcalyn.wordpress.com)
- The middle class faces a lost decade (cbsnews.com)
- Mich. governor signs 48-month welfare limit (msnbc.msn.com)