Fresh Start Women's Foundation has announced that they will be expanding services for women of colour in the Valley through a three-year, $1.3 million grant from JPMorgan Chase.
The nonprofit based in Phoenix provides resources that help women overcome obstacles and become self-sufficient. It is expanding its resources as part of the Impact Program to address disparities in mental health among women of colour.
Fresh Start CEO Kim McWaters stated that, "Coming out from the pandemic, we could tell that women, in general, and women of color were disproportionately affected." We began looking for ways to help women more after recognizing how large our city was and the need they had in our community.
The organization has launched a new model, based on science and evidence, that is centered around five pillars, which it considers essential for clients to become self-sufficient. These include: stability in the family, including a home, food, and safety, mental health, financial literacy, and management, education, and career.
Fresh Start hosted a free event on May 17 that focused on resources, mental health, and financial wellbeing for women of colour. Ashley Taylor-Barber is a marriage and Family Therapist who spoke on topics related to mental well-being and health in marginalized communities.
Taylor-Barber stated in a press release that'studies show women of colour suffer disproportionately when it comes to adverse life experiences which can lead them to anxiety disorders, depression and toxic levels chronic stress'. It is crucial to provide culturally-appropriate resources to women of color so they can have more options for healing, success and well-being.
Sylvia White is a former Fresh Start client who now works as a personal advisor for JPMorgan Chase. She was a single mom of three who fled an abusive marriage. White was introduced to Fresh Start by a domestic abuse counselor in 2014. She participated in the program for three years. She said that the programs helped her to start a new life, and were beneficial in many ways.
White explained that he had become mentally and physically stable after completing the program. The other part of the program was to prepare physically and mentally for a return to work.
Women of Color: Funding their future
Fresh Start received a grant from JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Cities Challenge, which began in 2018. The grant is part of JPMorgan Chase's Advancing Cities Challenge, which began in 2018.
Fresh Start was selected from over 200 companies in the world as one of eight recipients of a grant. The money will be used to expand resources for BIPOC women in the Valley.
In a press release, Kathy Hu, managing Director for JPMorgan Private Bank said that the investment would allow Fresh Start Impact to expand and escalate its program. They will integrate mental health support in their programming and increase the number of mental health providers that are women of color from Arizona.
Taylor-Barber says this book will be especially valuable to women of colour who have been traumatized by racially motivated incidents and are experiencing what she calls a persistent fight, flight or freeze response.
Your body was not designed to remain there. Taylor-Barber explained that it would cause discord in the body and mental health problems.
McWaters stated that this grant allows Fresh Start to discover what best works for women and helps them achieve holistic wellbeing.
McWaters stated that 'access to mental health and wellbeing is important so that people can manage these things and get the support that they need. This will allow them to benefit from other pillars we offer, such as education and career, to help get them to a better position.