Close to Home: Reflections on Poverty, Perseverance and Promise

The Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators and Crittenton Women’s Union hosted a memoir release event, Close to Home: Reflections on Poverty, Perseverance, and Promise, on Wednesday, April 1st.

Caucus Co-Chair, Representative Gloria Fox, opened the event by describing her own journey of perseverance, rising from growing up in foster care to becoming a State Representative. She is currently the longest serving woman in the legislature and the only woman of color in the House of Representatives.

Crittenton Women’s Union partnered with author Michael Patrick MacDonald, the author of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie and Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellions, to guide five CWU clients through memoir writing process to foster self-empowerment and social justice. Mr. MacDonald noted he grew up hearing communal attitudes blaming single mothers but that was not his experience.  The child of a single mother who grew up in South Boston’s Old Colony Housing Project, he participated in the project in honor of his mother who he called vital and resilient.

Speaking at the event were memoir writers and two CWU clients, Lauren, a US Army veteran who served in Iraq and who joined CWU’s Career Family Opportunity Program and Pamala, a 2011 graduate of CWU’s Woman to Woman program and 2012 graduate of the University of Massachusetts.

Lauren and Pamala, along with fellow writers Lauretta, Anne and Jennifer, told their stories in order for others to gain a small window into the experiences of countless families trying to escape poverty.

Crittenton Women’s Union takes a dynamic approach to lifting people out of poverty and empowering them to economic self-sufficiency by addressing the complex needs of families.  Bridge to Self-Sufficiency

The personal stories of the memoir writers and Representative Fox are what Michael MacDonald called examples for a broken world.

Close to Home: Reflections on Poverty, Perseverance, and Promise can be read as an ebook on Crittenton Women’s Union Website

Written by Caucus Intern Palma McLaughlin