My name is Christine. I live in Denver, Colorado. I am in the process of filing Non-Profit status for HelpASista. I was raised by a single mom, with no child support coming in or a father in the picture, and oftentimes we didn’t have enough for all of our basic needs. I am thankful that is not my personal situation now, especially as a mother of 4, even though that could have been me following divorce if my ex hadn’t paid child support regularly. And I have watched several friends (single and divorced moms) struggle with similar issues – everything ranging from abuse to divorce, lack of higher education, job loss, homelessness and more. The majority of these moms I know would be in much better financial shape to care for their children if they could receive child support payments on a regular basis or if they weren’t at risk of physical harm in leaving abusive spouses. Many of these women stay longer than they should just to have a roof over the heads of their children. Then, if and when they have the courage to leave, they are subjected to even more desperation. Unfortunately, many fathers will pay just enough to keep the courts off their backs or won’t pay child support at all. This is an inexcusable act against their children. Few are ever held legally accountable for these violations even though they continue to have visitation rights. The irony is that a good majority of these fathers can afford attorneys and choose to spend more on attorney fees than they owe in child support. That is something I will never understand and it shouldn’t be legal. But that is a topic for another day.
In particular, I have one friend in need right now (name withheld to protect her situation) who just lost her temp job and is about to lose her apartment. If this happens, she will be homeless for the second time in 2 months. If she loses her apartment, she will also lose her ability to have overnight parenting time with her children. This in turn increases her chances of losing access to her children in general. It’s a vicious cycle. She is a hard worker whose almost 20 year profession was converted to digital technology. She applies for jobs and assistance daily, hourly. Her car doesn’t even go into reverse yet she’s been faithfully driving it because it is her only mode of transportation. She is a great mom, a good, honest person and a dear friend. My heart breaks for her situation and she is constantly in my thoughts and prayers. (Our family lacks the financial resources to help her out.) She was trying to attend college to further her education and ability to move into a new career but that is also on hold as she fights to provide for her basic needs. Child support does not come regularly and she lacks the financial means to pay for an attorney. There are several issues that are all intertwined. ~ She needs to be able to maintain her apartment and she seeks daily to get a new job to provide for herself and her children. She has hope. But as she is on the verge of homelessness, again, she struggles to maintain
This just one mom, one story. I have many others. Won’t you HelpASista Out?
Through HelpASista I plan to see the Organization raise funds to assist single and at-risk moms with: Safely Exiting Abusive Relationships, Housing, Basic Necessities, Child Care, Health Care costs, Employment Seeking & Job Training Support, Education, Legal Fees and Transportation. Priority will be given to those who do not receive regular or adequate child support from the fathers of their children and those who are in abusive situations who cannot exit without financial assistance. Additionally, I will work with existing organizations and governmental agencies supporting single moms to explore all available resources. This is something I do already.
As for the financial plan, ideally it would be a MicroLoan program available for these women through banks that would allow them to build or rebuild credit over time when they start to repay. These MicroLoans could be distributed in a similar way to student loans. I am not sure exactly how that would work but it seemed like a viable option to explore. As the initial amount must be “gifted” until the financial situation has improved or is steady, the repayment could then be a Pay-it-Forward for more women in need in the future. That is just one thought. Otherwise, gifts would be allocated following determination of need, either as single gifts or ongoing for a pre-determined period of time.
Thank you for your consideration.