Northshore Magazine

Northshore March 2019

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

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areas: economic self-sufficiency and security, health and well-being, and leadership and empowerment. "We look to target solutions that have complex social issues," says French. Looking at the wide range of organizations the Women's Fund helps provides evidence of this. For instance, 2018 grants provided $275,000 in funding to 18 diverse local organizations. Among them were an out- reach program at Lynn-based Centerboard addressing commercial sexual exploitation of children; the Girls in Sports programs at Beyond Soccer, which include soccer, mentoring, and healthy living programs for girls in Lawrence; a financial literacy and mentoring program at Community Action in Haverhill; and a program at Lazarus House in Lawrence that provides women with culinary work training and job placement. Other programs the Women's Fund helps fight the opioid epidemic, provide refugee services, and empower homeless women. "I'm impressed that they pay attention to all kinds of organizations that have wildly dif- ferent missions and wildly different kind of infrastructures," says Suzanne Dubus, CEO of Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport, which works to empower people and engage the community to end domestic violence through its free crisis intervention services, 24-hour hotline, partnerships with local law enforcement, counseling, legal representa- tion assistance, school education, homicide prevention work, and other services. e crisis center was a 2018 grant recipient for its empowerment and wellness workshops, which provide trauma and abuse survivors with everything from yoga and self-care to fi- nancial literacy tools. "ese workshops help women take a step back from the abuse and really begin to take a look at their lives holisti- cally and figure out what they're good at and create a future for themselves," Dubus says. She adds that the Women's Fund "re- ally understands what's going on in Essex County. Not only do they provide essential funding, but they're always making sure that they're focused on the right priorities. I just so appreciate that they're all just very much focused on what's happening on the ground, and also the larger, bigger picture." In the case of Connecting Young Moms, 121 Lisa Parker is the chair of the Grants Allocation Committee for the Women's Fund of Essex County. Suzanne Dubus is the CEO of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport. it's easy to see how the funding effects real- life change for program participants. Since 2004, Connecting Young Moms has received several multiyear grants to support initia- tives like its doula program, emergency and education funds, and training programs. e program's emergency fund, for instance, allowed one woman to get the windshield wipers on her car fixed so that she could get to work in bad weather, which in turn helped her pay her bills and support herself and her child. "It seems so small to just fix windshield wipers," says Kelli Braga, LICSW, a clinical social worker and co- facilitator of the Connecting Young Moms program. "It's huge to these young women." Another young mom received a scholar- ship to enroll in an EMT class, which pro- pelled her toward a career as a paramedic. "at springboard…that's where the magic happens," says Braga. "e whole trajectory of her life was shifted by that one grant." "I'm impressed that they pay attention to all kinds of organizations that have wildly different missions and wildly different kind of infrastructures." – S U Z A N N E D U B U S , C E O O F J E A N N E G E I G E R C R I S I S C E N T E R

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