On Friday October 25, the ‘First Lady’ of Massachusetts, Lauren Baker, visited Project Place and talked with several members of the Working Opportunities for Women (WOW) enterprise. WOW is one of four social enterprises at Project Place, which provides women living in shelters with on-the-job skills and experience to change their lives through work. WOW offers services for businesses that produce specialty products: the first product partner is Coop’s Microcreamery, maker of high-end hot fudge and salted caramel sauces that are sold in a variety of stores from Whole Foods to iGourmet.com.

During her visit, Mrs. Baker was not only able to see how WOW workers produce these delicious Coop’s chocolate dipping sauces, but also heard our clients’ individual and unique stories. One client, Shawn talked to Mrs. Baker about the ways that Project Place and WOW has changed her life.

“[Project Place] gives me hope,” Shawn began. “It’s opened doors to all types of opportunities.”

Shawn went on to describe her first experience at Project Place, when she initially approached the front desk and was asked to fill out paperwork.

“I asked them, Who’s going to hire me? I haven’t worked in almost 10 years. I almost started crying, I was just so nervous. And they told me, That’s what we’re here for. We’re going to help you. And they did. They did.”

Mrs. Baker was moved by Shawn’s story, and stated that experiences like hers are the reason why Project Place is important to the Boston community. Following her meeting with the WOW members, Mrs. Baker went on to tour Project Place and learn more about case management and other services provided by the organization.

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