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Transforming Disadvantaged Women into Empowered Professionals

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Categories
Community , Education
Location
South Texas
Cycle Year
2013
Dress for Success® San Antonio
http://www.dressforsuccess.org/sanantonio
Dr John C Thomas
210-737-1515
grants@dfssa.org
600 N Frio Street
PO Box 91036
San Antonio
TX
78207
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Dress for Success San Antonio aims to inspire (29) low-income women, and children by deepening our services in empowering them to seek employment skills for a better future.
Benefits
Dress for Success San Antonio helps women help themselves, and their children, by stemming the underlying cause of cyclical poverty and addressing the crisis via grassroots programs that produce systemic change. By promoting our clients’ self-sufficiency, our community-driven programs and services provide long-term solutions to impoverishment.
Proposal Description
Dress for Success San Antonio changes economic possibilities for San Antonio children and low-income women. When you help the mother, you help the children. Dress for Success San Antonio helps women help themselves and their children by stemming the underlying cause of cyclical poverty and addressing the crisis via grassroots programs that produce systemic change. By promoting our clients’ self-sufficiency, our community-driven programs and services provide long-term solutions to impoverishment. Since September 2002, Dress for Success San Antonio has served more than 6,500 low-income women and affected more than 14,000 children. More than 90% of clients are mothers; 78% of those are single mothers. Each year, client numbers, program variety, staff credentials, partner agencies, and most important, client successes, have increased significantly. A distinct aspect of Dress for Success San Antonio is a holistic recognition of each client at her own level of development. We do not fit clients into a predetermined set of template programming; while there are generalized needs shared by the majority of job seekers, we recognize each client as an individual with a unique set of life circumstances. So, we offer a menu of programs to address both universal and personal client needs as well as to maximize efficiencies of both time and staff. CORE services include foundational services provided to all clients. TIERED services provide programs to serve client constituencies across the spectrum of personal and professional development. This plan allows for both continuity and flexibility for clients. CORE services, for every client, include a first-visit expanded assessment and orientation to all programs offered by the agency. Clients are then introduced to the Career Center, including access to interest inventories and on-line skills courses, and individualized plans created for resume and interview preparation. Next is training in professional demeanor and attire to prepare for an employment interview. Once the client secures a job, she is invited back for employment suiting with additional education in continuity of professional appearance and attitude. She is also encouraged to join in on-going job retention and upward mobility activities. TIERED services include both formalized curricular training options in six to twelve week classes, including Financial Literacy & Empowerment and the Going Places Network, as well as 33 front-screens, no-cost, on-line courses, and links to many more. There are also groups for support, networking and leadership training. The pre-employment group is “Pick Your Future” and post-employment is the “Professional Women’s Group.” TIERED services also allow for ad hoc focus groups such as mock interview workshops or a discussion series for ex-offenders. We are a provider for the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and work directly with disabled individuals who are seeking employment. In addition, we are a designated Emergency Food Pantry for the City of San Antonio and clients are referred to Dress for Success San Antonio by over 100 non-profit and governmental partner agencies in the San Antonio area including job training programs, veterans’ organizations, colleges, universities and shelters. Our challenge has been the ability to track our clients properly to ensure success through our outdated tracking system but our recent enhancement to the new Management Information System (HMIS) will assist Dress for Success San Antonio with the capability of adding additional services including tracking each client to ensure success for all Women, Men, Children and Veterans in our community. Dress for Success San Antonio will continue to pursue grants and community support to fund our on-going activities. PROGRAM OBJECTIVE – To provide comprehensive support and training to help clients, including veterans, and their families achieve economic self-sufficiency through CORE PROGRAMS. TARGETED POPULATION - Zero to (29) low income women, children. Total Funds Requested from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation: $10,000 to support Dress for Success San Antonio 11/1/13 to 11/03/14