|Annual Legislative Awards Ceremony|
May 10, 2018
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Kathleen: Finding a Purpose
Sometimes, learning a new skill means much more to a client than obtaining work. Sometimes, learning a new skill leads her to her true purpose in life. And that new skill gives her a way to communicate with and educate others. This is the story of one of our clients.
Distraught, “Kathleen” came to the Displaced Homemakers Center at the Bergen One-Stop unable to find work and without current skills. Due to caring for family members and her own illness, she had not worked outside of the home for several years. In 1968, at the age of 20, Kathleen was viciously raped, beaten and left for dead after an intruder attacked her in her own home. After a trial in which, she says, her character and morals were under more scrutiny than the rapist’s, the courts acquitted him. An actress, theater instructor and corporate trainer, Kathleen suffered bouts of illness and severe depression in the years following the attack and trial. Her marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce.
Displaced homemakers are individuals who have worked in the home for a number of years and, due to divorce, separation, death or disability of a spouse or partner, now find themselves as the primary source of household income. In many cases, Displaced Homemakers may be underemployed and unable to support either themselves or their children. After having lost their primary source of financial support, Displaced Homemakers may need to return to the workforce.
Displaced homemaker programs help these women obtain or upgrade skills for today's labor market. The goal is to help them become economically self-sufficient by providing education, job readiness training, networking, outreach, referrals and emotional support. Local programs draw on a wide range of contacts within their communities to aid Displaced Homemakers find the assistance they need.
If your immediate safety is being threatened or you are in need of immediate medical assistance, please call 911 or your local police.