St. Louis Nonprofit To Help Low-Income Women Gain Income And Stability
Many women in St. Louis struggle to make ends meet because they lack access to jobs and education.
Rung for Women plans to help women gain financial stability and move up the economic ladder by offering financial literacy, health and wellness, and career counseling.
Low-income women have long faced obstacles that exclude them from building wealth, and that is particularly true for many women of color, said Leslie Gill, president of the south St. Louis nonprofit.
“Our goal is to remove as many barriers or help women work through those barriers so that they can be productive both in life and in their professional life,” Gill said. “Ultimately, our endgame is we want more women making more money.”
The nonprofit created partnerships with nine local companies to help women improve their economic status. Urban Harvest STL, the Fit and Food Connection and the Collective STL will provide nutrition and exercise classes. Launch Code and the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis will offer STEM training and career counseling. Health providers from Provident Behavioral Health, Family Care Health Centers and Safe Connections will offer free wellness checkups. Financial counselors from Prosperity Connection will provide financial literacy courses to members.
“We wanted every woman to kind of go through a few months of just really spending some time doing some personal introspection work and release, so that they can create long-term sustainability and transformation,” said Christina Holmes, program director for Rung for Women.
Rung for Women will begin recruiting 120 women this October. They are required to commit to a free six-month training and coaching program. Applicants must be 21 years old, a high school graduate and make less than $50,000 a year. Each woman will be paired with a coach to assist with creating and executing goals.
Though recruitment is open to women across the St. Louis region who fit the criteria, Gill said there's a particular emphasis on Black women from north St. Louis, north St. Louis County and other communities where there are many low-income women.
“My hope is that transformation happens and ultimately that we're able to move the needle on career and salary again and get more women to make more money, because we know that, that ultimately will boost the middle class,” Gill said.
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