Care for the caregivers: Programs that support women
In the coming weeks, many Volunteers of America affiliates will host special "I Remember Mama" luncheons to honor older women who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to spend Mother's Day with their own children. These events have become beloved traditions for us, and speak to the true essence of our mission to uplift all people and help them live the most fulfilling, joyful lives possible. Mothers spend their lives putting the needs of others above their own, and I Remember Mama events provide an opportunity to let these women know that we care about them and appreciate their service.
While mothers represent pillars of love and support, we must never forget that often mothers need to be cared for, too. We see this at every level of service we offer at Volunteers of America. Many of our programs for low-income families focus on supporting single mothers with young children who need affordable housing, child care and other help. We know that housing forms the foundation for a successful life. By providing a safe and stable home, we help mothers to focus more time and attention on the care of their children.
A fast-growing area of service for us has become supportive housing for formerly-homeless women veterans with children. These women tend to be underserved by services for veterans, which have traditionally catered to the needs of single men. Women veterans, though, often suffer from the same challenges as their male counterparts – such as post-traumatic stress and difficult maintaining post-military employment – while also caring for small children on their own. We have opened a number of programs in recent years aimed at these women, providing them with a stable home while also helping them achieve long-term self-sufficiency.
For older women, Volunteers of America is one of the leading providers of affordable housing and assisted living for low-income elderly. After a lifetime spent caring for others, many women unfortunately find themselves alone without the resources available to provide for their own care. In addition to homes, we provide services like Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, which provide transportation, meals, access to health care and social interaction for seniors who might not have someone to provide this assistance.
At every stage of a mother's life, we're there to make sure she receives the same level of care and support that she provides to her own loved ones. For more information about Volunteers of America's myriad of services, visit www.volunteersofamerica.org.