The Learning Center Work October 08
This young single mom gets up at 5 everyday, has a bit of time before waking her son and then 4 days a week manages to get almost three year old dressed and fed and to a sitter or to her Dad's house, get herself to the bus stop and eventually seated at her desk at a local hotel' business office by 8 a.m.
The day we shot the above we had to wait for the light to come. It was 16 degrees.
She has her job, a good one, as a result of being a participant in an organization called CLimb Wyoming. This agency does truly amazing work of making significant life chances for young mothers possible. Life style changes, job training and placement and self esteem are the goals. I think it is a rigorous commitment on the part of the young women. No doubt those who make it through the program are those who deserve and will have a better life.
Two days a week the boy goes half day to TLC. In addition to nursery school activities, health evaluation services are provided.
Above he is getting a " finger poke", a hemoglobin test. The same we the children were given free dental exams. I was stunned to learn about caries in the very young. This seems to be particularly the case with children in very low income families.
The father in this story, the ex husband, left when the girl was 5 months pregnant. He has seen the boy twice.
Three months ago his wages were garnisheed and things are better for the two now. Still, this young woman and her little boy could not make it with the help of family. In this case, the family is her father and a sister, both of whom live here and help in untold ways.
Untold because I surely do not know all of the ways they help, however, what I was privy to see is the standing Friday morning coffee together at a local coffee shop. Because of various schedules this takes place at 6:30 in the morning - again dark, again cold. I was sincerely touched by the warmth, the goodness of this family.
Monday - Thursday the mom works from 8 - 5, taking lunch at her desk to save on hours. She has a 1 1/2 hour RT bus ride on these days. She cannot afford to take anytime off and while there is the weekend relatively free, her week day off is filled with maintaining what needs to be done - grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, washing and, something she does with great care and wisdom, being with her son.