"I used to work for someone who would send me to clean houses," she said. "I never got to meet the people I was cleaning for. I would go all over the city to do the work. But no matter how hard I worked, I could never make enough money to pay my bills."
With certificate in hand, the woman stood at the front of the classroom and shared with her instructors and fellow graduates what a difference Martha's Way had made in her life.
"Because of this program, I have started my own business. I know my own clients. I know how to set my own rates. I am proud to do this work."
Martha's Way is a vocational training program developed by the Christian Community Service Center of Houston. It has a commendable track record in increasing the earning potential of individuals operating their own residential housekeeping businesses. This fall, St. Paul's UMC will become a host site for the program, providing classroom space for up to 15 Spanish-speaking students who will be participating in the 42-hour training. The students will learn business skills such as budgeting, marketing and professional ethics. They will also be equipped with training on proper cleaning techniques around the home and how to use eco-friendly products.
I'm personally excited that St. Paul's has welcomed and made space for this ministry, because I have witnessed how empowering the program can be for aspiring housekeepers.
I was so inspired by the stories of Martha's Way and wanted to support new graduates, so I filled out a Homeowner Packet and interviewed two individuals who provided me with bids. About a year ago, our family hired a woman to come and clean once a month; we'd never had a housekeeper before and Claudia is so kind, reliable and meticulous. Not to mention she relieves a huge burden for me by taking care of some of the chores that get to be too much while I am in grad school, working full-time and raising two young children. She has been a blessing to our family and I hope we have blessed her as well.
If you want to support this ministry, hire a small business owner, or have any other questions about Martha's Way here at St. Paul's, contact Rev. Nataly Negrete at firstname.lastname@example.org