FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jeremiah Program Announces New Initiative to Offer Its Hourly Employees Relief at the Gas Pump
Funded by private donations, the temporary initiative will give a $100 gas card twice per month to each hourly employee in all nine campuses across the country.
WASHINGTON (June 15, 2022) – Today, the Jeremiah Program (JP), a national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to empowering single mothers and their children to achieve economic mobility, announced a new initiative to support hourly workers in response to nationwide increases in cost of living. The program will give all of its hourly employees in all nine campuses across the country a $100 gas card twice per month through mid-August to help them get urgent relief with their commuting costs.
JP’s leadership recognizes the increased costs of food, gas and housing for everyone across the country and have taken this step to alleviate some of the burdens put upon those most affected by the current economic situation.
“Like many direct service workers, the national rise in COVID cases and gas prices has our staff at a loss for words,” said Jeremiah Program President and CEO Chastity Lord. “Humanizing this moment demands that we recognize and support those staff also living at margins, navigating the pain and complexity of being asked to do more with less. We hope this action also inspires other national and local groups to rise to the current economic challenges affecting their staff.”
The new program is being rolled out in the JP Austin, TX campus this month and will continue to the other eight campuses by the end of the month. It is currently scheduled to run for two months until mid-August. About one-third of JP’s entire workforce will be receiving the gift cards, which amount to 45 hourly employees. The gift cards are being funded by private donations.
“Being that I have children, this stipend will help prevent me having to taking valuable resources from my family to compensate for rising gas and housing prices,” said JP Austin Teacher Kimberly Benford Johns, one of the hourly staff members who will be receiving the bimonthly gas cards.
Another staffer receiving the gas cards, JP Austin Community Teacher Jaden Davis added: “Teachers are some of the hardest hit workers during this pandemic, while also being some of the lowest paid. In Austin, housing, gas, and food prices have grown exponentially, which impacts our lowest wage workers’ ability to meet their basic needs. Any support to ease the financial impact of our current economy for our teachers and hourly workers is welcomed and celebrated.”
With nine campuses across the country – Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Brooklyn, NY; Boston, MA; Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN; Las Vegas, NV; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; and Rochester, MN – JP programs empower single mothers to gain ongoing access to higher education, affordable childcare, housing and the training they need to further their professional development. Each one of JP’s programs show how investing in a mother’s full journey towards economic mobility can have a positive and lasting economic impact on communities across the country, specifically communities of color.
JP employees who are part of the new initiative are direct service providers, who provide quality childcare and other essential services that are a lifeline for single mothers who are currently trying to earn their college degree – many of whom are simultaneously holding jobs to support their children.
“I am proud to work for an organization that leads with our mission and philosophy,” said JP Austin Executive Director Gloria Gonzalez-Dholakia. “JP’s gas card initiative shows our commitment to address and disrupt obstacles for JP employees most significantly impacted by the currently inflated gas prices. Ensuring that our teachers and cooks can confidently arrive at JP each morning ready to serve our community is instrumental in providing the level of excellence we strive for.”
JP’s programs center and support single mothers and their children to disrupt the cycles of poverty by focusing on five key areas: Ongoing support to attend college and graduate; personal coaching to reach professional goals; access to quality early childhood education and childcare for children; access to safe and affordable housing in private residential campuses; and training in financial literacy, positive parenting, healthy living, and mental health support.
JP Austin Child Development Center Director Julie Oatman concluded. “This gas stipend will have a significant and direct impact on our frontline workers. In Austin, housing prices are so high that our teachers often live over 40 miles from our campus in order to find affordable housing. Our staff has had to make budget cuts in order to get to work each day in a time when inflation is impacting the cost of basic necessities. Gas funds will provide immediate relief to our hard working teachers.
About Jeremiah Program: Jeremiah Program is a national nonprofit organization that offers one of the nation’s most innovative and successful strategies to help single mothers achieve financial and occupational success. By providing a combination of early childhood education, childcare, a safe and affordable place to live, empowerment and life skills training, JP has successfully impacted the lives of more than 4,000+ single mothers and their children since it was founded nearly 30 years ago. The organization currently serves more than 1,100 single mothers and their young children every year at nine campuses across the country in Austin, TX; Brooklyn, NY; Boston, MA; Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; and Rochester, MN with the newest campuses in Las Vegas, NV and Baltimore, MD.