Magazine article The World and I

A Baltimore Success Story

Magazine article The World and I

A Baltimore Success Story

Article excerpt

Lashane Dunbar, a 26-year-old single mother of two young children, has overcome tremendous obstacles and is on a fast track to both personal and professional success. This is in large part due to the efforts of Baltimore's WorkMatters program.

Unemployed and living with her grandparents, Dunbar learned that she and her children would have to move out. She sought the assistance of WorkMatters, a program conducted by the Mayor's Office of Employment Development.

Dunbar was accepted into subsidized employment at the YWCA Upton Child Care Center. After saving her money for four months, she bought beds for her children, allowing them to move off the floor, where they shared a single mattress. Eventually, she could afford other necessities including telephone service.

With a stable home environment and the help of WorkMatters, Dunbar began attending classes at Coppin State College on the weekends while continuing her work at a day-care center. She received her certification in early childhood development and, due to her outstanding performance, was offered a full-time position and a substantial raise. Currently, Dunbar is moving to California to open her own day-care center, which will be operational by the end of this year.

Her story is similar to that of over 1,400 Baltimore residents served since the inception of WorkMatters. As in other major metropolitan areas, Baltimore's welfare recipients will be facing the reality of moving from welfare to work, as funding for the program is slated to be phased out in 2004. …

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