Income-building program at Women In Need helping those in homeless shelters find employment
NEW YORK -- A big struggle for some women is finding a job that pays enough to support their families.
CBS2's Ali Bauman has more on how some homeless shelters in New York City are working to close that gap.
To say it was tough when a mother of five was forced into a Brooklyn shelter last year would be an understatement.
"When I got here I thought this was a dead end," the woman said.
But she enrolled in an income-building program at WIN, or, Women In Need, which runs her shelter and a dozen other family shelters citywide.
Christine Quinn is president and CEO.
"A program that has training, targeted job placement and recruitment, so when our families leave shelter they have the skills they need to pay for their apartment," Quinn said.
WIN says the problem for most of the mothers who move into their shelters is not finding a job, but rather finding a job that pays enough to support their families.
"Even the jobs mothers come with are very marginal jobs and mostly minimum wage, which is why they were evicted. We need to make sure people don't return to shelter," Quinn said.
WIN considers its income-building classes a success, saying 80 percent of its mothers who complete it continue to live independently for at least a year after leaving the shelter.
"Not only in our job readiness program do we help them to get the job, but how to ask for that promotion, what things you need to do to get to that next level. Those are the kind of job readiness skills and maintaining the job skills we provide for our mothers," said Whittaker Wright, WIN's director of income building.
"The experience with the program definitely honed in on the skills I have now," the mother said.
She has since landed a job as a classroom aide.
"Do you feel like it helped you have better success with the job?" Bauman asked.
Oh absolutely. I know this is not a job that will fall to the wayside. There's opportunities for me to successfully move forward," the mother said.
WIN currently funds the classes privately, but is urging City Hall to invest in expanding the program to every shelter citywide.
In a statement, the Department of Homeless Services said in part the city has "made unprecedented investments in high-quality services across the shelter system which includes providing employment supports."
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