After years of waiting on a Brooklyn street corner trying to land jobs cleaning houses, Teresa Bucio decided there had to be a better way to earn a living.
Like dozens of Latina immigrants, Ms. Bucio, 33, used to stand at the corner of Division and Marcy Avenues in Williamsburg every morning, hoping to be hired.
The intersection — a bare cement triangle overlooking a sunken stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — is an unusual all-women day labor site where residents of the heavily Hasidic neighborhood find people to clean their homes. Ligia Guallpa, an advocate for day laborers who has assisted women at the site for years, estimated that some 200 women congregated there over any given week.
But work is by no means guaranteed. Before the sabbath or Jewish holidays, the demand for cleaners increases; on other days, many women never leave the corner.
So some of them decided that instead of being at the mercy of chance, they would take matters into their own hands and start a business.