Spotlight on CoAbode, Innovative House-sharing Program for Single Mothers
Parenthood can be gratifying, but it also brings a host of concerns. No longer do you just need to worry about yourself. You now have young dependents relying on you. And if you’re one of the many single mothers in America, you’re taking this on by yourself. Read on to learn about a unique program that assists.
Numbers Tell the Story
Would you believe over 20 million American children live in single-parent households? The majority of these are headed by mothers. To be exact, 15 million women are raising their children alone. Statistics tell us that during the 1990s across the U.S. the percentage of families led by single moms increased by 25 percent.
What makes this scenario troublesome is that single moms are more likely to be economically disadvantaged—almost five times more so than married couples. Mothers on their own with offspring under 6 years of age earn about one quarter of the income compared to their peers with a spouse. Compounding this is that 29 million children living only with their moms are owed some 39 billion in unpaid child support from their fathers.
Approximately 78 percent of single moms are employed and 45 percent of them have more than one job just to make ends meet. Many of these families experience food insecurity, and over 50 percent of the breadwinner’s earnings normally goes to housing. Interestingly, single mothers in the United States don’t fare as well as those in comparable high-income nations in that despite working more hours, they face higher rates of poverty.
CoAbode is a national organization with a novel solution to the long-standing problem of securing adequate housing for single mothers and their children. Essentially, the idea is that if two single females can raise their children together, they’ll be far better off.
This won't be a new idea for some readers. Multi-generational family households are becoming more common in the United States, and it’s typical for young adults leaving home to have one or more roommates. It’s amazing when people can cohabitate and help one another, but these arrangements can sometimes be hard to find.
That’s where the very structured and supportive program that CoAbode has created can be invaluable. Here are the steps single moms take to find a successful match through the organization:
Complete the Sign-Up Process
Interested parties can become members for free.
Complete Personal Profile Questionnaire
Mothers answer essay and multiple-choice questions that help other members learn a little about them and what they’re seeking in another mom to partner with.
Search for Local Members
Members are given access to individuals living in their area who may be compatible. This enables single mothers to connect with parents who share their parenting philosophy and may have similar interests.
As you can imagine, the fundamental monetary benefits of belonging to an enterprise like CoAbode are many. Certainly, it makes sense to share housing and living costs with another family if possible. Dividing rent, utilities and the grocery bill means each parent is under less financial pressure and can provide proper housing and nutrition for their children.
In addition, there’s the option of co-parents assisting one another with childcare. The high cost of these expenses is prohibitive for many single working mothers, so this is a huge cost saving that members of the program can potentially take advantage of.
Furthermore, raising children on one’s own is a very isolating experience. The chance to share the day-to-day adventure with another solo parent is a wonderful way to reduce the stress and loneliness, not to mention marking those joyous occasions as well.
Such living arrangements give single moms more time to themselves and to spend with their children. Household chores like cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and laundry are shared. Giving kids a hand with homework and dividing driving responsibilities saves time and energy too.
Putting parents together who’d like to enter such a living situation is not all CoAbode does. The success of this endeavor is attributable to the range of other supports it offers. The platform helps members to build a community by showing them what resources are available nearby that they can utilize.
Friend Circle Support Groups is something that CoAbode offers to members. This is where friendships are fostered, and other opportunities come up for various activities and get togethers. The encouragement that these interactions provide go a long way to improving participants’ mental health and making them better parents.
CoAbode’s Outreach Program collaborates with community agencies committed to helping single moms. This facilitates greater independence and housing security for women experiencing challenges like disability or domestic violence. What’s more, the organization stays in touch with Affordable Housing Developing Corporations to notify members of vacancies.
When it comes to lifting families headed by single mothers out of poverty, CoAbode is definitely doing its part.