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Second Chances, Brighter Futures Through Economic Independence


Getting off drugs helped Maya Bither feel human again. Getting back to work made her feel like a part of our community again.
The guidance of a jobs skills coach – whose assistance was made possible by support from Community Foundation of Broward Fundholders – enabled Maya to find a job after she found her sobriety.
“It’s given me an opportunity to re-integrate myself,” Maya said. “Showing me how to be responsible and how to be a productive member of society, through employment.”
Maya’s lessons in how to find and keep a job came from the Fort Lauderdale treatment program Stepping Stones – which helps people in need overcome addiction and get back into the workforce. Support for Stepping Stones is part of the Community Foundation’s focus on promoting Economic Independence.
Foundation Fundholders have provided a $100,000 Economic Independence grant to Stepping Stones and its partner facility House of Hope. The work that grant supports helps 100 people on the verge of homelessness stand on their own two feet. Program participants work with job coaches to secure employment and obtain stable housing. They can enter vocational training or complete their GED.
How to create a resume, what to wear to an interview and the chance to participate in mock interviews are a few examples of how Stepping Stones helps people like Maya rejoin the workforce.
“The Community Foundation has been key in providing an opportunity for us to have job skills coaches on site,” House of Hope/Stepping Stones CEO Sue Glasscock said. “We have found that the success (of recovery) is very much tied to Economic Independence and being able to support yourself.”
The Community Foundation has identified Economic Independence as one of the Issues That Matter – 10 issues that affect us all and are vital to Broward’s future. The ongoing goal of the Economic Independence initiative is to stabilize individuals and families in crisis and move them from surviving to thriving.
Economic Independence grants since 2016 have helped more than 500 struggling adults attain stable housing, advance their education and find better jobs.
“There’s too many people living paycheck to paycheck,” Community Foundation Grants Manager Angelica Rosas said. “We want to help those folks, before they spiral into homelessness.”
To learn how you can help tackle Economic Independence, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

This Economic Independence program was made possible by support from the following Funds of the Community Foundation of Broward:
Gilbert Corwin Fund
Jo Ann Hoffman Homeless Fund
Frederick W. Jaqua Fund
Keith W. Dunn Restricted Endowment Fund
Fonda and H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr. Family Trust Fund
Ann Adams Fund
Kresge Unrestricted Fund
Theodore H. Gilbert Fund
Community Impact Fund
Annette Van Howe Women’s Fund
James Bell-Greenbaum Charitable Fund
The Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation Home Community Fund


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Broward County Inspiring Philanthropy over 25 years