How women find a 'new beginning' after divorce - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

How women find a 'new beginning' after divorce

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By Brigida Mack - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -- If all you have ever known is being a wife and mom, what happens when your marriage or relationship doesn't work out. How do you start over? Where do you turn?

Try New Beginnings,  a Mecklenburg County organization dedicated to helping mostly women, but some men, get back on their feet after divorce or the end of bad relationship.

"We reach a population that nobody else reaches," said Dorothy Alexander, the program director for New Beginnings (formerly called Displaced Homemaker program). 

According to Alexander, 97 percent of the program's participants are women.

No stone is left unturned. From a job postings board, to computer access to get a clothing boutique that offers a get-the-job suit, women who have never worked outside the home get everything they need.

"When you can get the assistance that you need, the resume that you need, the attire that you need," Alexander said. "There are times we've had people come, we help them with their makeup."

Deidre Pearson is one of the 60-80 women New Beginnings helps out each month.

It's been a long road for Pearson: after a divorce rocked her world, the stay-at-home mom found work to support her children. But she lost her job in January and was forced to move them to a shelter.

"You never think that you'll be in a position where you can't take care of your children," said Pearson. "And to be in that situation, it's like what do I do? What do I do?"

With the help of New Beginnings, Pearson has landed not one, but two jobs and will soon be able to move her children out the shelter and into their own home.

"It's tough but you have to persevere," she said.

The program is funded entirely through grant money made possible by the North Carolina Council of Woman.

For more information about New Beginnings, call (704) 432-6933 or the Women's Commission at (704) 336-3210.

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