By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (August 24, 2016) – Dwelling Place Ministries Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) is celebrating 10 years of service in Erath County. The ministry educates and empowers women to become more productive through life and job skills training classes in a Christian environment.
Sue Owens, volunteer coordinator and community liaison, provided information about the nonprofit organization and its headquarters, located at 106 North Patrick Street in Dublin.
“Outside people see a thrift market,” Owens said. “In the back of the building we have classes and offices they don’t see.”
The thrift store is stocked with items donated by the local community and serves a center for the ministry’s work-study program, instilling skills valuable on-the-job skills like effective verbal communication, customer service and money handling.
Applications are currently being accepted for classes that begin September 13 and continue through May. Instruction is provided to qualified applicants, women who are at least 18 years old, at no cost. Classes are held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each week, excluding Christmas vacation.
“We provide free childcare in a licensed home daycare while our mothers attend classes,” Owens said.
CWJC is a ministry of the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), an auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention, according to the organization’s website.
“Something that sets us apart from other job training programs is that we provide an hour of (required) Bible study each day,” Owens said, adding the women served by the program are also assigned a mentor who walks alongside them, providing encouragement and support. “The women (we serve) set goals, attainable and achievable things to help them see their progress. The mentors here to help them reach for those goals, love on them and encourage them.”
The organization provides students will lunch every Tuesday and Wednesday, serving meals prepared by volunteers from area churches. Owens said in addition to providing sustenance, volunteers also provide assistance with the receiving, tagging and stocking of thrift store merchandise and by serving as guest speakers.
“Volunteers are an important part of what we do,” Owens said, adding additional volunteers are always needed.
Meanwhile, many of the women who are led to CWJC are “down and out,” building themselves back up from broken relationships of abuse, poverty and in some cases drug or alcohol addiction, the program recognizes that each of them have strengths and uses them as a foundation.
CWJC students receive training from eight volunteer teachers. The coming fall semester tentative class lineup includes Money Management, Computer Skills, Job Skills and Boundaries/Communications Classes will be held every Tuesday. The Wednesday schedule includes Personal Development, Women’s Group, Home Management and Family Development.
With appropriate training and building upon a foundation of faith, CWJC is giving women what they need to make it on their own.
“We are not about handing out,” Owens said. “Christian Women’s Job Corps is a hand up, not a hand out. We focus on individual strengths through a faith-based program for women who want to live an independent life. We want to serve those who want to make changes, those who are living a life free of drugs and away from abuse. Women who are ready to make the changes necessary to create a better future.”
Potential students and volunteer who would like more information on Dwelling Place Ministries Christian Women’s Job Corps can call the center at 254-445-2228. Details are also available online where a downloadable application can be found.