Second Chances, Brighter Futures Through Economic Independence

May 31, 2019

Getting off drugs helped Maya Bither feel human again. Getting back to work made her feel like a part of our community again.

Guidance from a jobs skills coach – made possible by support from Fundholders at the Community Foundation of Broward – empowered Maya to find a job after she found her sobriety.

Once a high school dropout at risk of becoming homeless, Maya now works at a restaurant and goes to college. She studies social work, with plans to pursue a career that helps other women in need.

“It’s given me an opportunity to re-integrate myself,” Maya said about the jobs skills coaching she received. “Showing me how to be responsible and how to be a productive member of society, through employment.”

Maya’s lessons in how to find and keep a job came from the Stepping Stones treatment program in Fort Lauderdale. Stepping Stones helps people in need overcome addiction and get back into the workforce. Support for Stepping Stones is part of the Community Foundation’s focus on promoting Economic Independence – one of 10 Issues That Matter. These are the issues that affect us all and are vital to Broward’s future.

Job-hunting training at the Stepping Stones treatment program.

Foundation Fundholders have provided a $100,000 Economic Independence grant to Stepping Stones and its partner facility, House of Hope. That support helps 100 people on the verge of homelessness stand on their own two feet. They work with job coaches to secure employment and obtain stable housing. They can enter vocational training or complete their GED.

How to create a resume, what to wear to an interview and the chance to participate in mock interviews are a few examples of how Stepping Stones helps people like Maya rejoin the workforce. They get help finding jobs and filling out applications. And after they go to work, a jobs skills coach keeps in touch with both the new employee and their employer to help ensure success.

“The Community Foundation has been key in providing an opportunity for us to have job skills coaches on site,” House of Hope/Stepping Stones CEO Sue Glasscock said. “We have found that the success (of recovery) is very much tied to Economic Independence and being able to support yourself.”

Our Fundholders’ support for Economic Independence seeks to stabilize individuals and families in crisis and move them from struggling to thriving.

Achieving Economic Independence can be a greater challenge in Broward, where wages fail to keep up with housing prices and other cost-of-living expenses.

Philanthropy that helps struggling families become self-sufficient not only improves their lives, it lessens the strain on our community’s already overburdened social services – and overstretched tax dollars. It helps break the cycle of poverty for the next generation.

This Economic Independence program was made possible by support from the following Funds of the Community Foundation of Broward:
Gilbert Corwin Fund
Jo Ann Hoffman Homeless Fund
Frederick W. Jaqua Fund
Keith W. Dunn Restricted Endowment Fund
Fonda and H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr. Family Trust Fund
Ann Adams Fund
Kresge Unrestricted Fund
Theodore H. Gilbert Fund
Community Impact Fund
Annette Van Howe Women’s Fund
James Bell-Greenbaum Charitable Fund
The Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation Home Community Fund
contact support

To learn how you can help tackle Economic Independence, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

Economic Independence

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