The community is rallying behind a local nonprofit that has been selected as a State Farm Neighborhood Assist Top 200 Finalist. Fresh Start for Women, the only Owensboro finalist in the voting competition, is requesting the community’s support.
“There are 200 finalists and the top 40 of those finalists will all receive $25,000 each,” said Carol Adkins, chair and co-founder of Fresh Start for Women. “You are allocated 10 votes per day through midnight eastern time on Friday, August 23. We would love for them to vote every day to cast their vote for Fresh Start for Women. We’re also asking the community to please share on social media and spread the word as the more votes we’ll have the better the opportunity to be in the top 40.”
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods The State Farm Review Committee selected Fresh Start for Women as one of the top 200 finalists from 2,000 submissions.
Fresh Start for Women provides transitional housing in a community environment for single women with children breaking free from addictions and other life challenges. The Owensboro based nonprofit truly relies on community support as they have not received any government funding.
“Just daily general operational things are the hardest things to get finances for. We have a mortgage payment and the women pay a portion to cover the rent as the low market value so it’s something they can manage,” Adkins said. “We assist them in covering a portion of their rent. We pay the gas and water and they pay their electric bill.”
Fresh Start believes in lending a hand up and not a handout. By paying a portion of the rent for those they serve, in an effort to get them back on their feet, they have seen many women learn a lot of life skills they had not known otherwise.
“We have had folks that have never had more than 3 months’ worth of car insurance consecutively. It really is teaching those life skills,” Adkins said. “We have two women currently enrolled in college, which is exciting. We have had five over the last three years we’ve been in existence who have actually gained employment in a field of helping women in recovery.”
The nonprofit has had around 40 women and up to 70 children who have been a part of the Fresh Start community. That sense of community is vital to its mission.
“The women learn to help one another, with childcare, with transportation. They are all just kind of going through similar struggles and can help one another,” Adkins said. “They are at a very vulnerable place in their lives and they face a lot of financial and emotional obstacles.”
Although thus far Fresh Start has consistently been in the top 40 rankings for a potential $25,000 grant they have been urged to not let up as voting ends this week.
“It takes time and encouragement to develop a ‘new normal’ and break the destructive life-style patterns that are so easily repeated. This grant would assist us in reaching our goal of helping women maintain sobriety, physical and mental health, financial stability and integrity so that the cycle of addiction and being a financial burden on the government and community is broken,” Adkins said. “Transformation of lives impacts generations.”
To cast your vote in support of Fresh Start for Women visit the Neighborhood Assist website.