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Our View: Single parents are not alone in the SCV

Posted: October 21, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 21, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

In a place as family-friendly as the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are many here who are struggling to have functioning and successful home lives and raise children without the help of a significant other. But in these cases, Single Mothers Outreach is here to help.

It has only two paid staff members, and a small army of volunteers, offering support for those struggling with the hardships of single-parenthood.

The name is a bit of a misnomer — the organization helps both local single moms and single dads. But its goal is clear. It helps single parents in need through a variety of outlets, including various giveaways (furniture, clothes, food and more) and even social events to connect local single parents and their kids to give them a sense of community and alleviate a likely feeling of solitude.

Founded in 1995, the nonprofit also provides assistance for struggling parents in finding job opportunities and job-skills education to help get them on their feet, possibly after entering the job market for the first time.

Single Mothers Outreach fills an important gap in the SCV, in that it doesn’t take in the truly down and out, like the church-based Family Promise, and it doesn’t deal with a lot of the emotional side effects of turbulent homes to the extent that the Child & Family Center does.

It targets members struggling with the fairly common predicament of being a single parent and the burdens and obstacles that it entails and helps on a personal level with support groups for those coming to terms with raising children alone.

The organization is hosting its second annual Empowering Hearts event on Nov. 19, which pairs single parents who have powerful stories to tell with artists to portray a visual representation of the parents’ lives, and convey the struggles and emotions in more than just words.

Many in the community don’t know Single Mothers Outreach. Limited resources have kept the group rather quiet and have prevented it from getting the word out.

But its accomplishments have been loud and strong. It’s helped hundreds of parents over the years in a variety of ways, and we hope it has many more years of service to come.

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