As a women-led organization, we are not just leaders; we are mothers. We intimately understand that in our communities, it is often the single mothers and their children who bear the brunt of silent suffering due to disparities. Over the 18 months, we’ve undergone a deliberate shift in our focus because we recognize that mothers bring forth the precious gift of children, who embody our future. The glaring disparities are an everyday reality, with homeless shelters overflowing and soaring food prices. Moreover, there’s an unspoken need for toiletries, so much so that in many stores, these items are locked behind glass cases. This reflects the demand and need for small things like a bar of soap.
At HOTT, we serve single mothers residing in marginalized communities who require a comprehensive range of support. This includes financial literacy, awareness about medical and mental health, job readiness, job etiquette, communication skills, computer skills, holistic healing, essential toiletries, food, clothing for both themselves and their children, and often, the assistance we provide extends even deeper. We do our utmost at HOTT, and when we encounter a situation beyond our capacity, we connect families with organizations that can provide further assistance, ensuring ongoing support and follow-up.
Mother and Girls – returning citizens
One aspect that is not widely discussed is the unique set of challenges faced by mothers and young girls who have been incarcerated. When these mothers re-enter society, they confront an entirely distinct set of issues compared to men. Sadly, communities often fail to acknowledge that the struggles faced by returning citizen mothers and girls are more complex, and resources are frequently limited. At HOTT, we are dedicated to making this transition smoother for mothers, women, girls and their children. With resources getting harder, we still are driven by the desire to help their success and growth within their homes and communities.
Black Girls – School to Prison pipeline
We are also passionately dedicated to combating the escalating issue of Black girls entering detention centers from schools, a distressing trend that demands immediate intervention. We ask: How can we proactively prevent this injustice? How can we cultivate robust relationships and initiatives to eradicate this dire circumstance?
The numbers may be surging, but so is our determination. To address the stark overrepresentation of Black girls in the school-to-prison pipeline, we advocate for a decisive, multi-pronged strategy:
Addressing the overrepresentation of Black girls in the school-to-prison pipeline requires a multi-faceted approach that includes policy changes, cultural competence training for educators, investment in support services, and a commitment to challenging racial and gender bias in educational settings. It also requires addressing the broader systemic issues of racial and economic inequality that contribute to these disparities.
We acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all approach is insufficient, and we tailor our programs and resources to suit individual needs. Our goal is not only to help mothers, women, girls and children, we want them to get on their feet but also to empower them with the knowledge and tools to evolve into formidable community leaders. We achieve this by encouraging them to share their stories and adopt a “reach one to teach one” philosophy, thereby fostering a network of support and empowerment within the community. We are acutely attuned to the alarming rise of Black girls being funneled from schools into detention centers—a grave injustice that demands our unwavering commitment to prevention and reform. To halt this troubling trend and forge a brighter path forward, we must take bold and resolute action. The numbers may be on the rise, but so is our resolve.