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October 30, 2015
Meet Gloria. Gloria is a single mother who is pregnant with her second child. Recently, she was struggling to find a full-time job to support her growing family. Additionally, Gloria found out that she was going to lose her affordable housing, and she knew she had few options due to a felony conviction more than seven years ago. With the looming loss of housing and lack of a permanent job, Gloria wasn't sure what to do, and she was afraid she wouldn't be able to support her children.
Gloria had been working as a temporary employee for a propertymanagement company. They had a full-time position opening and she wanted to apply, but Gloria lacked the confidence and support to do so.
Gloria was a Project Self-Sufficiency (PS-S) participant for eight years as well as a recipient of United Way's WomenGive childcare scholarship. Both programs provided her much needed support in becoming a self-sufficient single mother as she pursued her degree. Since completing her degree, she has graduated from both PS-S and WomenGive. Because of this, she no longer has the same level of support that she used to to help her through the upcoming challenges.
As a graduate of PS-S, Gloria received a referral to WorkLife Partnership (WLP) for continued support in job security and issues outside of the workplace. Both PS-S and WLP are United Way Community Impact Partners participating in United Way's collaborative group focused on helping working families thrive in Larimer County. Liddy Romero, Executive Director of WLP states that the purpose of this collaborative group is to “help Fort Collins people prosper through quality jobs.” As a result of this collaborative effort, partners in the group can refer their graduated clients to WLP for a continuum of services once placed in a job, with the hope of clients retaining their employment.
Gloria and a WLP Navigator discussed her career and housing goals for the next year. The Navigator was able to talk through the concerns Gloria had and help her create an action plan to tackle the fears that were holding her back from applying for the full-time position.
With the added support of the Navigator and those around her, Gloria applied for the position and obtained the job as Housing Coordinator! She is now responsible for a portfolio of several large apartment complexes.WLP also helped her find and secure market housing, which she could afford with her new job,alleviatingher other concern of becoming homeless.
Thanks to the work of United Way's Community Impact Partners including WorkLife Partnership and Project Self-Sufficiency, people like Gloria are able to access resources and support that might not otherwise be available to them. This support helps them be successful in their jobs and prevents them from becoming unemployed and unable to provide for their families.
The Working Families Thrive collaborative group is just one of United Way's partnership groups dedicated to working together in new and different ways to address the root causes of poverty in Larimer County. Collaboration like this is important because without it “we would be operating on an island, and that's not a good use of community stakeholder's investments,” said Romero. “This way, we are frequently sharing our needs and successes, finding cost-effective ways to continue and grow, and providing our services as a collective.”
WorkLife Partnership is a unique not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating socially sustainable communities and thriving workplaces in Colorado. Through partnerships with employers, WorkLife Partnership provides direct services and training to employees to help them overcome the barriers that keep them from getting to work, staying at work, and being productive at work.
WorkLife Partnership helps employers to increase employee productivity, retention, profitability, and recruitment offering a competitive advantage. Employers involved with WorkLife recognize the importance of social responsibility to their workforce.
Project Self-Sufficiency's goal is to help single parents realize their dreams for financial independence. Our focus is on creating an improved quality of life for parents and their children. Ultimately, it is about contributing to the workforce, positively impacting the economy and realizing that change begins one person at a time.
WomenGive is a leadership initiative of United Way of Larimer County in partnership with the Women's Foundation of Colorado engaging local women's compassion, volunteerism & financial resources to bringchanges to issues that affect women & girls. Knowing that education is an integral component of self-sufficiency, WomenGive makes an impact by providing childcare scholarships to single parents continuing their education.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County