The Meta 5 Displaced Homemaker Program at Central Lakes College has changed its name to the Meta 5 Family Resiliency Program.

This follows suit with the other partnership programs in the state, which have collectively changed to the Minnesota Family Resiliency Partnership.

While the name has changed, the need for support in the community has not, officials said. Across 2018 and 2019, 63% of those who came to the program were victims of domestic violence, 85% were not receiving court-ordered child support, and 27% entered the program homeless.

More than 5,400 individuals statewide, including their families and children, received services designed to assist in the pursuit of meaningful careers amidst significant life change. Ninety-seven percent of those participants completed the program successfully.

“The impact of our program on participants has been staggering,” Kimberly Pilgrim, CLC’s Meta 5 Family Resiliency Program director, said in a news release. “Looking forward, it’s going to take a lot for women to get back on their feet because many of them were struggling before the pandemic.”

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For more than 40 years, the program has provided specialized pre-employment support and family stabilization services across the state through a network of six regional providers. Participants are caregivers previously dependent on the financial support of others, who have lost that income due to death, disability, divorce, abandonment or loss of public assistance.

These services have become even more significant as a global pandemic impacts the number of jobs available and increases competition at a time when parents must also juggle caring for children and assisting with secondary education in the home.

“While this impacts all caregivers, studies show that the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women,” Jean Keenan, executive director of the Life-Work Planning Center, said in a news release. “... It is most often women who will sacrifice employment to care for the family, and the longer you are out of the workforce, the harder it is to return. The partnership remains more committed than ever to their mission during this time and will continue to support former caregivers through crisis and periods of instability while empowering all who are served to become agents of change in their own lives.”

Administered through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, this career pathways program equips individuals with the employment readiness skills and other services needed to stabilize their families and their homes, while also preparing them for work. Participants receive individualized support focused on career exploration, education and training, along with gaining the skills needed to secure and maintain employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency.

The Minnesota Family Resiliency Partnership regional provider network includes: Lives in Transition-AEOA, Virginia; Meta 5, CLC, Brainerd; Tri-County Action Program Inc.-Rebuilding Lives, Waite Park; Avivo, Minneapolis; Life-Work Planning Center, Mankato; and CHOICES of Southeast Minnesota, Rochester.