Imagine facing life without hope, feeling isolated and alone. Imagine growing up believing that no one cares, that you are different from every one else. Imagine feeling helpless, unable to change your life because you lack the necessary skills, support network and resources. Women offenders, their children and at-risk youth don’t imagine a life like this — they live it.
For 30 years, THE PROGRAM for Women & Families has been providing women offenders, their children and at-risk youth with opportunities to build healthy and productive lives. Each year, we make a difference for the nearly 2,000 individuals we serve, many who might otherwise be forgotten. We teach skills — from parenting to job readiness. We provide support. We help break the cycle of hopelessness, abuse, criminality and economic dependence. Underlying our work is the belief that individuals should be treated with dignity and respect and given the opportunity, they are capable of making positive changes in their own lives and meaningful contributions to society.
Unfortunately, the number of incarcerated women in our country has tripled in the last 10 years. About one million women are incarcerated, impacting 2.5 million children. Locally, we are experiencing similar trends. In 2008 in Lehigh County, one of every eight inmates was female. This has led to an increased need for our services on an individual and community level.
Please join us as we work together to create positive change. Through our work, we help reduce crime and delinquency, improve the livability of our neighborhoods, reduce unemployment among under-skilled and under-educated individuals and promote self-sufficiency among some of our most vulnerable families. And in the end, that means a better life for all of us. Imagine the difference we can make together.