Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball. Sometimes people can overcome. Sometimes people find themselves in a downward spiral that takes them to places unimagined. The worst part about the human experience of hitting rock bottom is that the whole process strips a person of self-worth, self-confidence and hope-- the three things a person needs most when trying to set the world right again. The Women's Bean Project in Denver, Colorado changes that for many women.
For 16 years the Women's Bean Project has helped women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. As a non-profit business specializing in the production of gourmet food products,their goal is to provide each program participant with a safe, accepting work environment where she can learn to identify and build upon her talents while building the skills necessary to get and keep mainstream employment.
It's not just a training program... The income from their businesses allows them to pay the trainees and hourly wage (starting at $6.35 and increasing with satisfactory performance). During the 6-12 month program with a wide variety of training tracks, women are also offered opportunities to learn life skills through targeted ancillary services including:
- Weekly support group, addressing issues such as appropriate workplace behavior, positive communication, and employment goals
- Ongoing job coaching
- Retreats on topics such as health and money management
From Substance Abuse to Success
In my own professional experience, I have seen meaningful work be a tool of profound postive change. Geoff at the WBP has provided me a wonderful story of a program participant that illustrates just that.
Leslie has been at the Women's Bean Project for 7 months. Here is her story in her own words.
"I found out about the program from a friend I had been in the Halfway House with. She told me that the program would help give me job skills and learning skills on how to make myself more sufficient with the things I would like to do in my life. She thought the program would be good for me so I decided to put in an application and luckily here I am.
What brought me to this point is a common story. At 24, I was a mother of 2 with a struggling marriage. At that time, a friend introduced me to cocaine. This started a 15 year addiction that caused my marriage to end, I lost custody of my children to my mother and I went to prison 3 times for forgery and theft.
Working at the Bean Project has allowed me to be the person I am today--- willing and determined to be that woman I’ve always been, except clean and sober. My time here at the Bean, I have learned oh so much! I’ve learned about production, computers, I’ve even learned to do receptionist work, which I have grown to love.
I also plan on going back to school when my son is about a year old. Right now it is only work and home. I am thankful for the Women's Bean Project. It has restored a lot of self confidence in me. "
Send Your Dollar
By Mail --Please make your check payable to:
Women's Bean Project
3201 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80205
Through their Website: Click Here
Treat Yourself Too!
After helping WBP-- take a minute and indulge yourself by purchasing something from thier gourmet food line. Personally, I like the fair trade coffee line. Help women out of poverty locally and help families abroad out of poverty too.