November 20, 2007

The Sister Next Door

The economic instability of low-income families seems to weigh more heavily on the shoulders of women than men in today’s society. And, poverty seems to be the growing trend among low-income, women-headed families due to inequitable access to affordable housing, child and health care, education, and low-wage earnings. Today, a mother of two making $31,000 per year cannot afford to rent an apartment, pay utilities, pay childcare and aftercare, a car note or car insurance.

According to the Portrait's Project - a ground breaking report published by the Washington Area Women's Foundation, Prince George's County, Maryland has the highest concentration of low-income women-headed families in the Washington region, and this concentration is rapidly growing.

The mother described in the first paragraph is a program participant of Virtuous Enterprises, Inc. METT (Mobile Employment Technology Training Program) - a program that teaches homeless women how to achieve economic independence and stability with life skills, and professional and technology training. This mother holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree and was a teacher for Prince George's County, Maryland and is now homeless because she could not afford the basic living expenses accompanied with childcare expenses.

Many of the participants of the METT program hold undergraduate degrees and chose to be stay-at-home mothers; however their husbands left them without financial support for their family. And of course, many of the women at the shelter are victims of domestic violence.

What will it take to decrease or eradicate the growing 'trend of poverty among low-income, headed families in particularly in Prince George's County, Maryland? What will it take for the economical gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' to close? What will it take for policy makers to increase the livable wage so that people can live the true American Dream without constantly working to simply pay bills and taxes. What will it take for the general public to move with more compassion and less criticism? It will take all of us to stop and ponder and give thanks for all that we have and to never take life, our health, wealth, or careers for granted. More importantly, it will take all of us to take this social cause to heart, because these women could be you or your Sister Next Door!


  1. How wonderful to see this blog up! Thanks for providing this important perspective on the realities facing women in Prince George's County--I look forward to continuing to learn from your insight and experience! --Lisa Kays, The Women's Foundation

  2. orczzpsvThis is really awesome. Thanks for keeping me informed for so many years. Awareness is key. But can we do more to change this epidemic? I belive we can. With organizations like your, mines, and so many others we can empower woman of all races to do more, be more so that they can acheive more....

    Joann Tyler,MCC
    Master Cerified Retreat Coach Leader.