Single and homeless mothers: true entrepreneurs

I recently was reading email in my parked car.  A car pulled up near me.  A young and pretty woman got out.  Pale and thin, she looked tense.  An older woman had driven her.  She looked very sad.

They started unloading a few plastic bags of clothing and children’s toys.  It wasn’t much.  The young woman was moving into an old brick building.  At the end, the two women hugged for a very long time.  The older woman started to cry.

The scene hit me hard, and so, I called around and ended up meeting the director of a program called “Genesis II”.  I learned that the building houses mothers who are homeless, single, and addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.  They stay at this residential center to undergo rehab, and by doing so, they don’t lose their children to foster care. They are fighting personal demons to keep their children.

For a living, I work with entrepreneurs, who take great risks and try to do better.  I find these young mothers to be quintessential entrepreneurs.  Rather than giving up and abandoning their children, out of love, and with great courage, they have resolved to begin a new life.

Isn’t that true entrepreneurship?

I know you’re always hit for contributions.  I know the economy is very tough.  But, if you feel so moved, please consider donating to the “Genesis II” program.  Due to state budget cuts, the program is running a deficit this year.

You can go click here to make a credit card donation. Just type in “Genesis II” on the form.  There is also more info on the program here.

9 thoughts on “Single and homeless mothers: true entrepreneurs

  1. Its wonderful that you noticed this little scene, and followed up on its meaning. I suspect it’s a long, difficult road back from addiction to responsible motherhood, and the quicker she can get back on track, the less her children will be marred by it…it sounds like the program has an honorable goal!

    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for the note. It is a long road, no doubt. The average stay is 1 year at Genesis II, and they get a lot of counseling, therapy, rehab and help in getting their GEDs. They then move to “transitional” housing, and eventually, to their own place. The young women with whom I met seemed to be in good cheer.

  2. Jo- Nice to hear your “voice” again! The scene you describe reminds me of a program I ran many years ago. It is unbelievably hard for these women and their kids. Some are stars and rise above. Good for you for noticing.


  3. When the public thinks of homelessness, they think about the vagrant older man who panhandles on the street. They don’t think of the single mother living in her station wagon with her children trying to stay warm in the back seat. There are 1.5 million homeless children in this country. Thanks Jo for sharing. For those in the Boston area, I’d also recommend Horizons for Homeless Children. They are always in need of in-kind gifts and volunteers to spend time with children.

    1. Scott, thanks for sharing this. I checked out their site. Looks like a great charity. Very heartened to see some VCs and LBO folks on the Board. I think as VCs there’s a lot we see in the private sector (recruiting, milestones, low burn and high impact programs, etc.) that hopefully can help charities.

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