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Crittenton Womens Union Thrive!   CWU Logo
The Newsletter of Critteton Women/'s Union   In this issue

New program in Cambridge promotes economic mobility

Crittenton Women's Union will partner with the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) and Heading Home to bring a new pilot program to Cambridge, Massachusetts residents receiving housing assistance. The program, Supporting Opportunity, Achieving Results (SOAR), launches in January 2013.

With seed funding provided by the Hogan Family Foundation, and capacity building support from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, the three innovative partnering agencies designed and built the new program to help low-income families get out of poverty.

SOAR will bring together an array of existing and new services to help create a community of upward mobility within the Cambridge public housing system by offering a streamlined path to increased economic independence for low-income and homeless families.

SOAR is built on the underlying principle of "co-investment" in which taking greater risks yields greater rewards. This concept is drawn from the premise that a community-based network of anti-poverty organizations with public and private support and motivated low-income families will voluntarily partner together in pursuit of economic mobility. The agencies and families involved will both make substantial investments of time, effort, and resources toward the ultimate shared goal of increased economic self-sufficiency.

Using a three-tiered level of engagement model, SOAR programming involves increasingly graduated levels of support and resources from the partnering agencies and a progressively more substantial commitment from the families demonstrating that they are willing and able to advance their economic mobility.

The continuum of programming will be delivered at a Mobility Mentoring™ Center located at the CHA offices and, during the pilot phase, will include at least 250 participating families, drawing from CHA residents and voucher holders, as well as clients of Heading Home and CWU.



New program in Cambridge promotes economic mobility

CWU receives national "Ideas for Action" award

CWU to release the real costs of living in Massachusetts

CWU partners with State Street at the MA Conference for Women

CWU participants receive scholarships to attend Conference

It is not too late to help CWU run poverty out of town!

Woman to Woman graduates eighteen in its fall 2012 class

Save the date for Live! Work! Thrive!

Support promising families in their journey out of poverty

  CWU receives national "Ideas for Action" award

On October 17, CWU was honored to be among the inaugural recipients of the Ideas for Action Award. Launched in June 2012 by The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, in collaboration with the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and with sponsorship from the Northwest Area Foundation, the award acknowledges innovative efforts that pursue two significant approaches to poverty reduction: financial asset building and pathways out of poverty.

"We welcome the fresh thinking these winners have presented at a time when a growing number of families are trying to work their way out of poverty," said Kevin Walker, president and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation in a press release. "We are pleased to provide support for moving these proven and promising ideas into actions that open new pathways to prosperity."

Out of nearly 50 submissions from across the nation, CWU was chosen to receive one of two "Promising Practices" awards, that included a $5,000 prize, for Career Family Opportunity (CFO), CWU's innovative long-term program for families committed to becoming fully economically independent in five years.


CWU to release the real costs of living in Massachusetts

CWU ConferenceWhat are the real costs of living in Massachusetts? Which fast-track jobs pay family-sustaining wages?

Learn what it really takes for Massachusetts families to make ends meet and which jobs that will help them live, work, and thrive when CWU releases the 2013 Massachusetts Economic Independence Index (Mass. Index) and Hot Jobs reports.

CWU produces the Mass. Index and a Hot Jobs report every three years as essential tools to help low-income women determine what career choices pay enough to support a family, are attainable, and offer the most long-term opportunity.

The Mass. Index is a real cost-of-living budget that measures, by county, how much income various family types across the Commonwealth require to meet their most basic expenses—housing, utilities, food, basic transportation, child care, health care, clothing, essential personal and household items, and taxes—without public or private assistance. Hot Jobs identifies occupations requiring two years or less of higher education that pay at the Mass. Index level and are in high demand statewide.

Thursday, March 21, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Senate Reading Room, The State House
Boston, Mass.
Online registration will open February 2013

For more information, call 617.259.2946, or e-mail mbeaulieu@liveworkthrive.org.


CWU partners with State Street at the MA Conference for Women

In a unique and new partnership, CWU was invited to be one of three area nonprofits featured as guests of State Street, presenting sponsor of the 8th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women.

As the largest women’s conference in the state, the Massachusetts Conference for Women welcomed more than 8,000 women on December 6th at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The sold-out event featured a star-studded roster of keynote speakers—including Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Kristen Chenoweth, Tory Johnson, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, and Brene Brown—and covered topics such as career advancement, personal development, reinvention, social media management, and entrepreneurship.

CWU, along with Project Hope and The Women’s Lunch Place, were prominently featured at the State Street booth where hundreds of conference attendees stopped by to learn more about each organization and sign up for volunteer opportunities.

Women to Woman participants at State Street booth

CWU participants receive scholarships to attend Conference

Ten CWU program participants received full scholarships to attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women in December, thanks to the generosity of Jonathan and Jeanne Lavine. For each of the scholarship recipients, attendance was a first-time event and, for all of them, it was an empowering experience.

Five of the CWU-scholarship recipients were recent graduates of the fall cycle of Woman to Woman, CWU’s 8-week career development course. The other five scholarship recipients were participants in Career Family Opportunity.

Pictured: Woman to Woman alumnae and scholarship recipients Kristina Turnbull, Victoria Dandridge, and Belinda Mercado.


Join Team CWU 2013

It is not too late to help CWU run poverty
out of town!

For a second year, CWU will field a marathon team as part of the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program. John Hancock, principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, will support more than 1,000 nonprofit runners for over 100 different local organizations in 2013.

Apply to join the team!

Prospective core Team CWU members have through January 15, 2013 to apply for one of three donated bibs. Successful candidates will be notified on a rolling basis, no later than Thursday, January 24.

Core Team CWU members will pledge to raise $7,500 each (a minimum of $5,000 is required of all non-qualified/charity runners).

Runners receiving numbers directly from the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) will augment the efforts of the three core members of Team CWU who will sport bibs donated to Crittenton Women’s Union by John Hancock. BAA-qualified runners will have a fund-raising goal of $1,000 each and can join Team CWU anytime, right up until race day, April 15, 2013.

To learn more, visit the Team CWU 2013 Boston Marathon page.



Woman to Woman graduates eighteen in its fall 2012 class

Women of Wisdom

Each CWU Woman to Woman class takes on a group name, usually one reflecting how the class has come to identify themselves. The eighteen fall graduates of Woman to Woman dubbed themselves, “Women of Wisdom,” and that's how they look proudly displaying their hard-earned certificates on November 20th with guest speaker Representative Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. (pictured far right).



Please save the date for CWU's second annual fundraising reception, Live! Work! Thrive! Celebrating Economic Independence.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
100 Northern Avenue
Boston, Mass.

Individual tickets are $150


For more information or advance ticket sales, please contact Alexandra Midili at 617.259.2921 or amidili@liveworkthrive.org



Support promising families in their journey out of poverty

Donate now to help Ines and other promising familiesCan you imagine raising a family on less than $20,000 a year? In fact, 90% of Crittenton Women's Union (CWU) clients have incomes well below the Federal Poverty Level, which is just $19,090 a year for a single parent with two children.

Please consider supporting the 1,400 low-income women and children CWU serves each year. Your contribution helps provide critical life skills training and financial literacy resources to deserving and motivated individuals who are working their way out of poverty.

There is a great need for the services CWU provides. Recently the Brookings Institute released a report showing that poverty has never been more difficult to escape, even for the most motivated families, and the number of Americans in poverty is growing rapidly.

At the same time, programs proven to protect families from the harshest effects of poverty or provide ladders of opportunity to self-sufficiency have been eliminated entirely or severely reduced. By giving to CWU, you can do something about it.

Please make a gift today to support promising families in their journey out of poverty.

  Crittenton Women's Union transforms the course of low-income women's lives so that they can attain economic independence and create better futures for themselves and their families.  
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