DENVER (CBS4)- Living in poverty is a reality for thousands of Coloradans. There are organizations working to help those get back on their feet. One of them, The Women’s Bean Project, helps those help themselves.

The organization helps women develop job and life skills. Many of those seeking help were addicted to drugs, some were homeless, others spent time in prison. All have the desire to improve their lives.

“We aren’t the welfare department. We’re here to help any woman who is willing to help themselves. We wouldn’t be doing any favors by doing everything for you,” said The Women’s Bean Project Program Director Bob Macdonald.

“They have trouble breaking out of the cycle because they don’t have any accomplishments. They feel like nobody’s going to give them a chance,” said The Women’s Bean Project CEO Tamra Ryan.

Participants spend an average of nine months in the program. They work full time and are paid just above minimum wage. They learn to assemble popular bean soups and jewelry. They also learn life skills like problem solving, goal setting, finding housing and transportation.

“I’m doing well. I feel confident that I’ll be able to overcome those obstacles and be the person that I am now. I want to stay this way. I’m very happy,” said one woman.

The Women’s Bean Project started in 1989.



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