Cycle of poverty

An Update on CHLOE’s Place—Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

 

Imagine, you are young and alone, from a disadvantaged home where abuse and poverty are rampant—and you are pregnant. Your education and life skills are minimal and you have no idea how you will care for your infant and support the two of you. Where do you go for help?

There is a safe haven for you where you will learn how to care for your baby and pick up some employable skills along the way. That place is CHLOE’s Place. CHLOE’s Place is a unique concept dedicated to equipping young mothers with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to continue their education and become personally fulfilled and socially responsible adults while promoting positive parenting, healthy families, and homes where children are valued and loved. The director, Connie Nafziger, RN, is a former Community Health Nurse who quit her job over ten years ago to dedicate her life to finding answers to breaking the cycle of poverty.

I first wrote about CHLOE’s Place exactly one year ago (see CHLOE’S Place Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, January 27, 2011) and since then a lot of exciting things have been happening for Nafziger and her team. I recently received an email from Connie excitedly asking everyone to post a link to a survey on their Facebook page and to forward it to all their contacts so they can gather important information to help guide their project. The survey was designed by a professor at Capital University as an undergraduate research project to benefit CHLOE, Inc.  and now, she and her students are ready to launch. Connie says the survey will provide wonderful insight they long to have. The more responses that are received the more successful the project will be. They hope the data gathered from this survey will more accurately help them determine the needs of single mothers.

If you are a single mother, or have been a single mother, then please take a few minutes to answer the survey below. I also ask all my readers to please post this survey on your Facebook page, Twitter account, and/or blog so they might be able to get a wide variety of responses. The survey takes only a few minutes to answer and the results will go a long way in developing a tailor-made program to help young single mothers care for themselves and their babies while equipping them with skills to break the cycle of poverty.http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SingleMothers

Please help with this worthy project.  YOU can be a link in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Below is a personal letter from Connie further explaining CHLOE’s Place and its mission.

  

            On leaving my position as a Community Health Nurse, having served hundreds of young mothers and their children, I knew the course was set for the rest of my career.  I determined to establish a not-for-profit organization able to equip others with health and life skill education; CHLOE, Inc was born in 1999.  A wealth of experiences has prepared us well.   In 2008 we expanded and refined our focus to equipping young single moms with the education and life skills they need to prevent and break cycles of poverty. They are guided toward educational opportunities and life choices that create opportunities for self-sustainability.

             In 2011 we launched Chloe’s Moms Connection, an Advocacy program for young single moms; piloting different formats and opportunities.  We learned a lot about the challenge of engaging young women in classes and what they value.  Having assessed the challenges and researched other options we are transitioning to a “Learn & Earn” model this month.  Parenting, Life skill, or Childbirth Preparation lessons completed with an Advocate are awarded with ‘CHLOE Points’ to be spent at Chloe’s Closet!  Our ‘closet’ is stocked with infant & toddler clothing, diapers, and other essentials and treats.  We are inviting pregnant teens to enroll.  Four young moms currently enrolled will no doubt be joined by many others in the coming months.  We are grateful to Sharon Woods Baptist Church (5959 Sharon Woods Blvd, Columbus) for providing space for Chloe’s Closet and classrooms.

            As an advocate for victims of abuse, I gained understanding of the plight of women  and children living in abusive or high risk environments.  This fuels my determination to establish a residential program.  Once Chloe’s Place,  is established, young moms needing a safe place to live for a couple of years while working on educational, relational, and career goals will be provided safe haven.  Such an ambitious plan requires a firm foundation; we work daily to make sure it is indeed sound and enduring before we open our residential program.

     A Five year strategic plan has us on a positive trajectory to accomplish our mission.  CHLOE’s Advocacy, Community outreach/education, Residential program, and a Micro-enterprise (to meet at least 51 % of our operational budget) are in the works.

   Our mission is practical, our visions is achievable, our purpose worthy.  You are invited to join us in this journey to equip young single moms and pregnant teens in whatever way you are able.                                                                            

                                                                                                               

Blessings & Peace,                                                                                                                                          ConnieNafziger,RN                                                                                                                                Founder/Executive Director

 

To learn more about CHLOE, Inc. see  www.chloeinc.org

Director’s Blog:  www.chloespath.blogspot.com

Email: connie@chloeinc.org

Monthly E-Note:  provide your email address

 

 

 

CHLOE’S PLACE BREAKING THE CYCLE OF POVERTY

 

It is rare when you meet someone so dedicated to a principal she is willing to make personal sacrifices to achieve that goal. Connie Nafziger is that person.

I met Connie at the “Y” where she, like the rest of us, is trying to maintain a healthy body. In between grunts, groans, and splashes in our deep water aerobics class, Connie told me about her vision. It is a vision to break the cycle of poverty by empowering young single moms with a safe place to live and learn. She was so dedicated to this concept she quit her job as a Community Health Nurse to establish Chloe’s Place.

CHLOE Inc., a not for profit organization, stands for community health, life skills, opportunities, and education. The goal of CHLOE is to equip young single moms with the education and life skills they need to break the cycle of poverty. They plan to achieve this goal by establishing a self-sufficiency home where the moms and their babies can live for a couple of years while achieving educational, relational, and career milestones.

It has been a long ten year journey for Connie and her team but they will soon be offering Life Skill classes on the second and fourth week of each month. There is no participation fee for the twelve month program that is open to 12 young single moms. The participants will be working with counselors, case workers, mentors, educators and volunteers who will provide resources for the moms. The children and infants involved will have access to ongoing developmental screening.

The current location for the Saturday classes is the Sharon Woods Baptist Church, 5959 Sharon Woods Blvd, Columbus (just North of Route 161). However, they are currently looking for a residential facility to house the young participants while they progress through the program. Additionally, they would like this facility to be capable of housing a coffee shop which will, in turn, help train the participants for job skills and also provide a source of income for the project.

The mission statement says young moms will be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to continue their education and become personally fulfilled and socially responsible adults while promoting positive parenting, healthy families, and homes where children are valued and loved.

 Another important aspect of the program is to provide opportunities for the participants to build a firm foundation for her spiritual well-being. Connie and her team are so dedicated to the concept of participants finding their own spiritual center that they have even rejected close ties with various churches for fear of a particular faith dominating the program.

There are several ways you can help Connie and her team break the cycle of poverty. They are always open to donations of all kinds, especially money and gift cards in any amounts. They also could use gift cards to Target and Office Max for class supplies. In addition, they could use:

  • Children’s books
  • Flip camcorder for filming parent/child interaction in parenting classes
  • Colorful round or square table cloths for parenting classes

More specific items needed are:

 (please call before purchasing to prevent duplication)

  • Art—Peace curriculum ($150)
  • Coffee maker
  • Food mixer
  • High chair/booster seat
  • Toaster
  • Microwave
  • Infant side bed
  • Ironing board

If you wish to become a partner of the project there are several categories you can do so:

  • Impact Partners donate a onetime gift of $1,000 or more
  • Hope Partners commit to monthly payments (any amount)
  • Equipping Partners sponsor a teen mom’s enrollment in a specific program or project (amounts vary)
  • Under $20 Club members donate items or gift cards of $20 or less once every couple of months. (i.e. paper towels, diapers, school supplies) when contacted by the staff.

For those who would rather give of their talents and time, there are several opportunities for you.

  • Office support
  • Web design services
  • Grant writer
  • Fund raising
  • Legal counsel

Volunteers working directly with the young moms are requested to be women only due to the sensitive nature of the work. Those positions are:

  • Mentors needed to nurture and encourage them in their journey toward self-sufficiency. Mentors need to submit to a background check and complete training sessions provided by CHLOE leadership staff.
  • Child care volunteers needed to help Child Care staff during CHLOE’S Moms Connection Classes. Classes will meet evenings twice a month.
  • Snacks prepared by individuals or groups and served at CHLOE’S Moms Connection sessions.
  • Transportation—once the residential facility is operational volunteers will be needed to provide transportation to scheduled appointments and group activities. A valid driver’s license, up-to-date insurance, good driving record, and reliable vehicle are necessities. Volunteers must complete an application and submit to background checks.

During her time as a Community Health Nurse, Connie saw many young single moms come from broken homes where drug and alcohol abuse were prevalent and domestic abuse quite often the norm. The young teens left that atmosphere and found themselves in similar situations because that was the only way of life they knew. She then saw the babies of these young women growing up in similar situations and the cycle began again. She wanted to stop the insanity, as Susan Powder used to say.

A project of this magnitude does not happen overnight and it has taken the CHLOE faithful ten long years to come to this point. Some might say that breaking the cycle of poverty is impossible but Connie would disagree with you. Poverty has been called a vicious cycle because it is an entire mindset, way of life, and culture. Connie plans to attack this problem with love, patience, and education. I have no doubt she will eventually achieve this goal because a less dedicated person would not have spent ten years of her life overcoming impossible odds and disappointments. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and Connie has taken many, many steps. She is well into her journey and the finish line of seeing CHLOE’S moms will soon become a reality.

I ask you to help Connie celebrate life and this achievement by getting involved. For more information or to help in this worthy project please follow the links below.

http://www.chloeinc.org/

http://chloe-news.blogspot.com/?spref=fb

http://chloe-news.blogspot.com/2011/01/sink-or-swim.html?spref=fb