For 20 years, the Ann Arbor-based Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan (WCSM) has been providing a safe space for women and families in our region. As like all nonprofit organizations, the events of 2020, including the coronavirus crisis, has made the center's services more valuable than ever. In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair speaks to WCSM's marketing director, Alice Liao, about what the center has accomplished in 2020 and what it hopes to achieve in 2021.
WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area. And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services. It is a community voice. It is 'Washtenaw United.'
ABOUT ALICE LIAO:
Alice is the Marketing DIrector for The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan. She received her Master of Social Work degree from University of Michigan, with a concentration in Community Organization.
The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan (WCSM) is dedicated to the economic and emotional self-determination of women, girls, and families. Through its programs and services, WCSM works to ensure that women experiencing a crisis in our community crisis have adequate access to low-cost help from a therapist, job coach, divorce specialist, family law attorney, and/or financial adviser. It is their belief that when women have the tools to assert their economic and emotional strengths, families and communities also thrive.
In FY20, UWWC invested $7,000 in the financial coaching program operated by WCSM. In Washtenaw County, although there are a handful of financial coaching programs currently being delivered by local nonprofits-- including WCSM, Habitat for Humanity Huron Valley, UWWC and Greenpath-- demand continues to outpace available program capacity.
As part of its COVID-19 Recovery Fund, this summer UWWC invested an additional $7,500 in WCSM’s workforce development programming for women, recognizing the disproportionate impact that the pandemic has had on households with low incomes generally, and specifically households with low incomes where the sole income earners are women. WCSM is anticipating an increased demand for their job support and financial coaching services as the pandemic continues to impact employment in Washtenaw County.
Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.