DENVER — The Women’s Bean Project, which helps women experiencing chronic unemployment find their footing to secure future jobs, is celebrating one year in its new building in Denver’s Athmar Park. It’s a location that’s giving the nonprofit a chance to grow.
Nia Morrison, 31, has been working at Women’s Bean Project for six months. Denver7 met her as she was bundling beans for bean soup and boxes of cornbread mix.
“I love it. It’s helped me get myself together from start to finish,” said Morrison. Before I came to Women’s Bean Project, I was just a housewife. I have four kids and a husband. It kind of helps you find out who you are again.”
“We hire women experiencing chronic unemployment and we work with them over six to nine months to help them move into mainstream employment,” said Women’s Bean Project CEO Tamra Ryan.
Ryan said the project is available to help all women, no matter their needs.
“Many of the women we hire have histories of addiction, many have histories of incarceration. Often, they have challenges with housing,” said Ryan.
“When we first come to the Women’s Bean Project, we’re appointed a social worker and a case manager,” said Morrison. “And then Wednesdays we have group therapy as a unit.”
In addition to that, Morrison said she is able to take classes in subjects like business management, beauty, art and even yoga. She said she’s already noticing changes in her life and has plans for the future like getting her high school diploma and working with her husband in his videography business.
“At the end of the day, if I wasn’t here taking care of myself, I’d probably be at home just being a mother, being a wife, not being me who I am,” said Morrison.
Ryan said celebrating one year in this new building means so much. She said there’s a future of possibilities.
“We really are beginning to think about how to provide services to people we don’t necessarily employ,” said Ryan.
Morrison offered this advice to other women who may need a fresh start.
“Don’t give up. Everyone gets lost. Finding yourself is biggest obstacle you have to go through but giving up, there’s nothing backwards for you, so you might as well move forward,” said Morrison.
Ryan said the Women’s Bean Project is always accepting applications. She encourages those who are interested to come in and fill one out anytime or apply online.
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