Women’s Resource Center to have event on self-sufficiency

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GREENFIELD — The Hancock County Women’s Resource Center is hoping to reach out to a wider audience with its Women Empowering Women event on Saturday, Oct. 26.

The event, which begins at 10 a.m. in the conference center at NineStar Connect’s Greenfield offices, will feature panelists from four area agencies, including Hancock County Senior Services, Love Inc., Hancock Hope House and Interlocal Community Action Program. Panelists will discuss self-sufficiency and the barriers to achieving it, as well as welfare and the status of working families in Indiana.

Following the panel discussion, lunch will be served and attendees can participate in a “poverty simulation” game intended to highlight the challenges of budgeting and prioritizing expenses on a limited income.

Beth Ingle, director of the Women’s Resource Center, said the theme of the event is an important one for the organization.

“That’s part of our mission, to help ladies here in Hancock County achieve economic self-sufficiency,” Ingle said.

Ingle said many resources are available to people in Hancock County who may need financial help, but not everyone knows how to access and navigate them.

That’s where the Women’s Resource Center comes in. Ingle said the organization strives not only to point women in the direction of helpful resources, but to provide them with meaningful guidance through processes like creating a budget or enrolling in a job training program.

“We mentor and guide them through the process,” Ingle said.

Because of the gender wage gap and other economic and social factors, Ingle said, women often have more difficulty achieving economic self-sufficiency than men. According to the National Women’s Law Center, women are 35 percent more likely to live in poverty than men, and women are over-represented in low-paying jobs.

Expenses can also be higher for women, especially single women, because of the cost of paying for child care. According to the Indiana Institute for Working Families, one adult supporting two children in Hancock County would need to make an hourly wage of at least $21.50 to be self-sufficient, a standard based on average monthly costs for things like housing, food and transportation.

“I don’t know that there’s very many people that actually make that,” Ingle said.

The event on self-sufficiency is planned as the first in a series of quarterly events the Women’s Resource Center will begin hosting on topics relevant to the lives of women in Hancock County. The next event, with a topic to be announced, will take place in January.

Ingle said women of all ages are invited to come to the event to find out more about what resources are available in their communities.

“We would love to meet women and find out if there’s any way we can assist them,” Ingle said.

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The Women Empowering Women event will take place at NineStar Connect, 2243 E. Main St., on Saturday, Oct. 26, beginning at 10 a.m. Lunch will be served, and attendance is free.

The Hancock County Women’s Resource Center is also looking for volunteers to provide services like office staffing and meeting with clients. To find out more, visit hcwrc.org or visit the organization’s office during the hours of 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays or 4-7 p.m. on Thursdays. The office is located in Suite F of the Hancock County Community Foundation building at 312 E. Main Street in Greenfield.

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