Northshore Magazine

Northshore March 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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120 And the local need is great. According to the Women's Fund report Women in Poverty in Essex County : A Call to Action, "Women and girls, who make up 52 percent of Essex County's population, are nearly 35 percent more likely to live in poverty than men." In addition: "Of the 28,616 children in Essex County living in poverty, nearly 70 percent live in single-mother families." "ere's an awful lot of wealth in Essex County, but there's an awful lot of poverty, even in towns that are considered wealthy," says Lisa W. Parker, chair of the Grants Allocation Committee. "e need is real." One of the things that makes the Women's Fund so special is the rigorous, data-driven process by which it allocates funding, which comes from individual and corporate dona- tions. "e accountability and the metrics are very important," Parker says. "e process that we go through helps us spread the money The Connecting Young Moms program is run by Jodie Berry, LSW, LCCE (left); Kelli Braga, LICSW (right); and Donna Desmond, LICSW (not shown.) Ro French is the president of the advisory board for the Women's fund of Essex County. throughout Essex County." All of the grant recipients have clear objectives, proven success, and established budgets, which they demonstrate via a rigorous and extensive application process that includes a detailed written application and site visits. "It's a huge validation for me, because they're such careful stewards of how they donate the money," says Berry of receiving funding. e Women's Fund doesn't take a "Here's money ; fix it" approach to solving problems and allocating funding for the programs it supports, Parker says. Instead, French explains, "We try to identify the point of intervention where they can truly effect change for women and girls." She adds that the Women's Fund is also "incredibly interested" in programs that help increase the number of women—especially single mothers—earn a living wage. e programs not only have a proven track record in common, but also a clear mission for empowering women and girls in three main PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELISE SINAGRA "Women and girls, who make up 52 percent of Essex County's population, are nearly 35 percent more likely to live in poverty than men." In addition: "Of the 28,616 children in Essex County living in poverty, nearly 70 percent live in single- mother families."

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