Maria Burd has barely started her work day when a few women are already at her door, waiting eagerly to talk with her. I have a passion for helping women and I try to listen without judgment, she says. As the new weekend evening Care Coordinator of Off the Streets, Maria has many things to oversee, the most important being the well-being of the women in her care. Amidst the administrative duties, like issuing day passes and bus tokens, she is there mainly to be a resource to the women.
Maria is uniquely qualified to be in her job; she can empathize with what the women are going through because she faced those challenges in her own life. She was born and raised in Over the Rhine and found herself going south at one point in her life. She sought treatment, found a better path and went on to college in substance abuse and women’s studies.
There is a lot going on with the OTS women on the weekends and Maria is there to make sure they have someone to talk to and to laugh with. OTS is probably the best program going. It really attends to the needs of the women. I love my job 100%.
People like Maria are representative of the caring and knowledgeable staff that make Off the Streets successful. Cincinnati Union Bethel was able to hire Maria due to a generous grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Other grants and donations provide funds for everything from salaries to program materials for OTS.
As we launch our Annual Appeal for 2014, we hope that you’ll be inspired by Maria’s story or the stories of so many other women we’ve shared to include us in your charitable giving this year. Cincinnati Union Bethel and all our programs, Early Childhood Education preschools, Anna Louise Inn and Off the Streets, rely on your support and generous donations to serve more women and children, and to improve every year. Thank you.