Work Options for Women (WOW) combats poverty and homelessness by providing opportunities for poor and marginalized women to gain the skills and confidence they need to become gainfully and permanently employed in the food service industry. WOW helps women who are threatened by lifelong poverty gain economic self-sufficiency through an innovative culinary training program. In our program students receive food preparation and customer service training under the supervision of two professional chefs. In addition to job training, we help each student address their barriers to employment such as inadequate housing, illiteracy, domestic violence, untreated health problems, depression and low self-esteem. Since 1997 all of our graduates have found full time jobs and stable, affordable housing for themselves and their children. A full year after graduating 85% of our women remain employed. For many women, WOW offers a first experience of stability and economic security.