Over the last few months and even the last few years, I've discovered that there is a real need for an organization to help women who are single without children. If a woman with children loses her job or husband or home, there are lots of organizations out there, both run by the government and privately run, to help. But for a woman without children who is laid off or has her hours cut or her husband leaves or she loses her home or she gets sick, etc., there is virtually no one out there to help. Single men without minor children have the same problem.
This past year (January, 2012), the building where I lived and worked went into bankruptcy. I found out when I went downstairs one evening and was told by our security guard that a trustee had taken over management of the building. Since I worked there as well as lived there, I didn't know if I still had a job or not. Fortunately, I did, but it turned out to be a very stressful time because the building went up for sale and my co-workers and I had no idea what was going to happen. Looking back now, knowing what I do, I would have made a lot of different choices than I did.
Anyway, in May, the building sold. At first, I thought everything would be alright because the supposed owner (I later found out he is a front man for a larger organization) asked all of us to stay. What they really wanted was to learn what they could from us to run the building and then replace us with other Asian people. They kept me on until August 20th and let me go by cutting hours and then giving my co-worker my hours.
Because of the bankruptcy and the fact that someone had stolen my identity a while back and was working under my name, things were complicated and getting Unemployment was not an option at that time. Fortunately, my sister was willing and able to help me but if she hadn't helped, I would have been in a bad place. Two weeks after my boss / landlord let me go, they served me with a 3 day notice to move out. Fortunately, they didn't serve me with final papers until November but I was put out in January.
During the whole process and the aftermath of being evicted, I found out how little - mostly no - help there is out there for single women without children. If you have minor children, there are plenty of people ready to help you but if you don't, it's like you don't exist.
I said all that to say that I want to create an organization that will help single women who have no one to be there as a back up. I don't want to just give them money but create an organization to help create jobs and businesses and help them get another home if they've been displaced, etc. I haven't figured all of the details out so I'm asking you to give me ideas. Practical ideas to help women get employment, homes, clothes and other things needed to get them back on their feet again.
I finally got another job at the end of November but it takes me roughly 2 hours by bus to get to work and it would certainly help if I had a vehicle. However, even taking the bus is an expense and there have been weeks that it's been by prayer that I've been able to get a bus pass to get to work. I want to be able to help women get a bus pass or get a vehicle or whatever the need is but I want to do it so that the women themselves give back into the organization with time, experience, ideas, etc.
I don't want to create another organization that is just a distribution center for money and things. I want to help women to help themselves as well as equip them to help other women. I don't want to just dole out money and things and have there be no accountability or emotional or spiritual support for the women who need help.
I know that for myself, the emotional rollercoaster all of this has put me on has been tremendous. My sister has tried to be there for me as much as she is able but she's 1500 miles away. I have friends but most of them are out of state or too far from me in Los Angeles or simply unable to help. There have been many times over the past year that I just needed a hug and a friendly smile and ear.
I want to create an organization that will help women through all phases as well as varying needs. This situation is a very lonely place to be and often times even if someone does care, they don't know what to say or how to reach out or, as time goes on, people simply forget or don't have any clue what you're going through.
I grew up around wealthy people and this type of thing really scares a lot of them and they have no idea how to handle it. It's easy for them to donate money to a faceless organization but when it happens to someone they know personally, it makes them very uncomfortable because the possibility of it happening to them becomes too real.
This isn't the first time I've been through this but it will be the last. If any of you have ideas on this, please feel free to let me know. Thank you.