Women's Opportunity Center
Women's Opportunity Center

History of Displaced Homemakers

In 1979, the New Jersey Displaced Homemakers Act was signed into law to establish displaced homemaker programs. Displaced homemakers are women who have lost their primary source of income due to divorce, separation, death or disability of a spouse and therefore must obtain or upgrade their skills for transition into a paid labor market. Included are women who are moving from public assistance to work. They come from a wide range of age, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. New Jersey has over 500,000 displaced homemakers in the nation.

The Displaced Homemaker Centers provide outreach, intake and orientation, personal and group counseling, assessment and testing. They also provide career and educational programs, computer training, life skills development and pre-employment preparation. There are 15 centers in New Jersey.

The centers, with their varied services are designed to enhance the employability and earnins of women and impact on the quality of their lives and those of their families. Center coordinators/directors draw on a wide variety of contacts within their towns, cities and counties to help individuals find the assistance they need.

With supportive counseling and training, a displaced homemaker is assisted in reaching her full potential. She can gain in heightened awareness of her untapped talents, greater confidence in her own abilities and new skills to meet the challenges of the labor market. With these she gains economic and emotional self-sufficency for herself and her children.

On January 28, 2013, Governor Christie signed a Bipartisan Resolution into law to designate May as Displaced Homemakers Awareness Month.

Who Are Displaced Homemakers?

  • Most Displaced Homemakers are women.
  • They have been working at home caring for family members and relying on others for financial support.
  • A woman becomes "Displaced” when she loses financial support through death, separation, divorce, or disability of a spouse.
  • There are over half a million Displaced Homemakers between the ages of 30 and 66 in New Jersey.
  • Most are not eligible for public assistance, worker’s compensation, or unemployment benefits. In 1979 the New Jersey Displaced Homemakers Act was signed into law to establish displaced homemakers centers.

Women's Opportunity Center | 302 Commerce Sq Blvd. | Burlington, NJ 08016 | 609-543-6200 x224 | Monday - Friday 9-4:30 cathir@ymca-bc.org

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