What is the Junior League of Harrisburg?
The Junior League of Harrisburg empowers women who want to give back to their community with skills that help them become leaders while developing lifetime friendships. The Junior League of Harrisburg (JLH) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. It is a 501(c)(3) organization. It is considered the training ground for women that go on to become leaders and innovators within many other local and national charitable organizations.
What is family self-sufficiency?
JLH’s focus issue is family self-sufficiency. It is generally accepted that financial independence is one of the best routes out of poverty; unfortunately, it is very difficult for many low-income individuals and families to become financially independent. A variety of factors, including access to transportation, child care, safe and affordable housing, and opportunity to develop life skills impact the likelihood of families achieving financial independence.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey the poverty rate in Dauphin County is 14.4 percent; the unemployment rate for Dauphin County is 7.9 percent. According to the same survey, 37 percent of female householders with children live below poverty in Dauphin County whereas 17 percent of families with children in Dauphin County live below poverty. Many positive outcomes happen when people gain economic stability and financial independence. They are able to contribute to the local economy, increase their assets, and reduce their overall debt. This economic stability also leads to healthier individuals, families, and children; improved mental health status; reduced crime rates; and less strain on social services.
The activities of JLH are focused on helping low income families become stable and financially independent. The League supports the work of other nonprofits and local programs who have a mission of teaching families skills that help them become self-sufficient. The League also supports the work of nonprofits with missions that support prevention of poverty.
How is JLH helping families achieve financial independence?
JLH is focusing on family self-sufficiency for families with female heads of household. The goal is to support women heads of household who are economically disadvantaged so that they can provide for their families. JLH will advance strategies such as:
· Conducting programming to help mothers learn how to provide healthy meals and snacks on a budget, and teaching children about healthy eating and exercise.
· Partnering with organizations who work with children to develop skills that reduce their likelihood of continuing the cycle of poverty.
· Awarding grants to organizations with like-minded missions whose work advances family self-sufficiency or poverty prevention.
· Working with partners to teach life skills to women heads of low-income households, such as interviewing, purchasing a used car, understanding of insurance, improving parenting skills, etc.