FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2016) – The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers Resident Advisory Board, in partnership with Can I Live, Inc., is bringing the national One Million Moms OFF Welfare (1MMOW) statewide conference to Fort Myers in April.
Fort Myers will be one of five national stops for this two-day conference that is designed as an intense training to bridge the gaps that impede economic uplift for low-income families. The Fort Myers event will take place April 21 and 22 at the Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Event Center, located at 2990 Edison Ave.
“We are moms who have lived and exited the welfare system and are here to help one million moms make their exit,” said RW-Jones, president and CEO of Can I Live. “It is important that people understand that poverty has absolutely nothing to do with money and that no one wakes up in the morning and says: ‘Today is the day I choose to be a single mother.’”
According to RW-Jones, the conference is ideal for housing authority and social service staffs charged with meeting program goals, resident leaders wanting to improve the quality of life for their residents and head of household members who desire real economic independence but struggle with implementation.
The 1MMOW exists to coordinate resources across public and private agencies to enable assisted families to achieve real economic independence. The initiative aims to increase earnings for moms, increase two-parent households, reduce dependency on social welfare and increase the tax budgets for local, state and federal governments.
The initiative kicked off in Washington D.C. in August 2015. The goal of moving one million mothers off welfare by 2025 started with one of 10 exit strategies to reduce dependency through education and empowerment. The 1MMOW conferences educate women about the pitfalls that maintain the cycle of dependency. Branded as the 3M Syndrome, the 1MMOW initiative has identified three key areas that disproportionately affect moms on welfare: Their Mindset, Their Men and Their Money.
“It took me 15 years to release myself from the dependency of government programs,” said RW-Jones. “I want moms to know that what they will learn at this conference will put them in the driver’s seat of their life, so that they can begin to live out the life they’ve always hoped for. It is possible because I’ve done it – I am the blueprint.”
RW-Jones is a survivor of the welfare system. Today she is an advocate for single mothers and a noted national expert on self-sufficiency, resident engagement and leadership development.
Additional conferences are planned for the D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois areas. The 1MMOW expects to draw more than 1,000 moms from across the U.S.
There are more than two million people in the State of Florida who participate in some kind of federal subsidized program from TANF, SNAP, Child Care, Rental Assistance, WIC, etc.
Discounted early registration for the conference is available until Feb. 29. A one-time registration fee grants access for up to 20 people from each agency to attend.
Can I Live is a resident driven, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to challenge the U.S. welfare system by revealing the problems in policy implementation that, for America’s moms, too often promote dependence rather than independence.
The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers serves as a catalyst for increasing access to safe, stable and sustainable housing and to help develop, preserve and revitalize communities through affordable rental housing. The agency is dedicated to empowering families with the means to become as self-sufficient as possible through its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) and HOPE VI Community Supportive Services (CSS) programs, encouraging and facilitating movement toward financial independence beyond the need for HACFM services. The HACFM also aims to instill pride and a desire for an enhanced quality of life for families and serves the greater Fort Myers community in a manner that demonstrates professional courtesy, respect and caring, while recognizing the needs and limitations of the mentally and physically disabled, aged and infirmed.
For more information, call 239-344-3220 or visit www.hacfm.org.