For the past 30 years, the York Street Project has dedicated itself to breaking the cycle of poverty for individuals and families, especially helping women and children. They’ve served over 500 of Hudson County’s most vulnerable individuals with housing, education, and supportive services. Even with these services, there’s more that can be done to help.
Introducing the York Street Project Internship
York Street Project recently announced a new internship program that would allow participants to build professional experience and expose them to different opportunities that have the potential to lift them out of instability.
The internship would last 4 to 6 months at a maximum of 20 hours a week. They ask that the salary be at least $12 an hour with York Street Project supplementing half. If you are interested or would like to learn more, contact Kelly Rossiter at Krossiter@yorkstreetproject.org
We had the pleasure of interviewing a former resident at the York Street Project and here’s what she had to say about her experience.
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Ashley and I’m from Jersey City.
Were you born and raised here?
Do you have any children a son or a daughter?
I have 4 kids. I have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old, and a 7 month old. 2 girls and 2 boys.
You have a good mix!
Yeah, almost a perfect mix.
What do you find is your biggest challenge with motherhood and raising 4 children?
Mmm, that’s a good one. I’m just going to say everything overall. I’m a single mom. Like, SINGLE! I do everything by myself. EVERYTHING! From taking them to school, to changing diapers, everything is by myself so it’s pretty hard. There’s nothing easy about it. It’s very hard.
Do you find that you can always get or find the help that you need, or do you find that there is limited help?
No, I don’t get help. I wish I did but I don’t, and you know it’s a struggle.
What do you find is the biggest help that you need that you can’t find or isn’t available to you?
Maybe like financial things because, you know, kids are expensive. So financially, I don’t get any help. So I’m always trying to make things happen, find ways to do this, find ways to do that. especially when you have small ones. Pampers and wipes, nothing is cheap. So that’s my biggest struggle. Financial.
And do you feel like the York Street Project has helped alleviate some of the help you need and, if so, how?
They’ve helped me a lot. They would provide pampers and wipes if I don’t have and that’s a big help, because providing that alone is… it’s a bill. So even when they provide that, it’s a big help. Even as far as clothing and stuff, that helps a lot. Even when I was here, I was a home resident and I just recently moved out 2 months ago and even though I’m gone, they are still a big help. It takes a lot off my shoulders.
How do you feel about the new initiative they’re starting? Providing internship programs to young mothers?
I think that’s a great idea and will probably help everybody in many different ways.
Do you feel like through York street, you’ve been able to connect and build a support system of women who can empower and help one another?
Yes, they are like my biggest support system. Everybody here! Everybody. Like I’ve never had anyone… I feel like I’m about to cry… I’ve never had anyone support me the way they do here. From point A to point Z. They help me so much, because I don’t really have anybody. I say this all the time, this is my family. They’ve helped me with the kids, financial stuff, even personal things. They have so many people I can go to and I feel like I trust them. There’s never been a time like, Oh I can’t talk to this person, I can’t talk to that person. They are always there. Even to tell me if I’m wrong, they’re always there! I’ve never had an issue, they help me a lot. So yeah. Big help!
What’s your advice for someone who might be about to enter motherhood, might be scared and don’t where to go, about some of the obstacles they’re about to face?
I would say push through. You’ll have times where you’ll say you’re not a good mother, or you’re not good enough to be a mother. You know, you’ll have those days, and it’s really tough for me because I have a lot of days like that where I’m second guessing my motherhood. I’m not doing this good enough, I don’t know what to do. So in the back of my mind, even though I know I’m a good mother, something always makes me feel like I’m not. Like I’m not good enough. So that’s why I say, remember that you’re good. And everything won’t be easy, so just push through and be fearless. A lot of times, I’m afraid to do things because of my kids. I don’t want what I do to affect my babies. So it’s really hard to make certain life decisions because you don’t want it to be hard on your kids. It’s really hard to make decisions because you don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. It may seem fine right now, but later on it’ll like, “Dang, you should’ve never did that.” Then it goes back to, “Oh well, I’m not a good mother.”
Yeah, so it’s like a cycle.
Yeah exactly, so you just push through and always remember you are a good mother and will overcome every obstacle. So yeah, that’s all the stuff that I’ve learned.
Well, thank you for sharing your story with us!