Shelter from the Storm

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Educational Television Productions of Northeastern Wisconsin, NEWIST/CESA#7
27 minutes. DVD $195.

Four single mothers struggling to provide homes for their children are affectingly portrayed in this Wisconsin Public Television documentary. April arrived in Green Bay with three children and 37 cents. Terrie Lee left Milwaukee with 2 teenage daughters when their father was incarcerated. Now graduating from Green Bay’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program, they celebrate hard-won progress with tearful speeches. “I feel so free today,” says April, having earned her high school equivalency and found a job and a house. Terrie Lee has become a medical technician on her way to a nursing degree and is buying her own home. Even with child support and small apartments, divorced mothers Jennifer and Judy can’t make ends meet until they qualify for Habitat for Humanity houses. Viewers witness all four families’ joy in their new homes.

Social workers explain the obstacles their clients face: low-paying jobs without health insurance, inadequate education, poor public transportation, expensive childcare and scarcity of affordable housing. A national urban policy consultant sees the dilemma of hard-working, poor mothers as “unjust, and we’ve got to create a better set of rules for the game.”

This inspiring program offers hope and helpful strategies to single mothers and the social workers who assist them. (800) 633-7445,