Serving Single Mothers and their Families
Across our country and specifically, in Alameda County, single mothers by far, are the most impoverished family unit. In Oakland, while the minimum wage has increased to $13.23 per hour, there is a significant gap between income and cost of living.
It’s been our on-going practice to use the Self-Sufficiency Standard by insightcced.org. as a tool to help our participants understand the amount of earnings they will need to make ends meet. We also use it to guide our organization’s efforts to create a sustainable ecosystem of services for single mothers. Using this tool, a single mother of a 2 year old toddler needs to earn $60,383 annually, a major feat for mothers that are often looking for gainful employment with the added weight of homelessness, parenting responsibilities, domestic violence, limited education, non-violent criminal histories and unsafe environments.
With the convergence of historical and generational socio-economic inequalities, and a historical widening cost of living gap in the bay area, the need to scale our enterprise and offer strategic services that help set single mothers and their families on a path to well being, is critical.
The urban university Board of Directors recently conducted strategic planning to identify organizational priorities for 2017-2018 that would support our overall goal of expanding our impact.
Those priorities include:
- Scaling the Single Moms at Work program by building employer partnerships to create a “bridge” for moms to enter into private sector employment;
- Expand urban house, our transitional housing program;
- Establish the urban learning center to offer single moms in the larger East Bay community vocational, personal and professional development workshops.
Beyond 2018, we aspire to create, in addition to our existing retail establishment, a larger housing initiative that will include retail social enterprises along with childcare, as our boldest and most viable ecosystem to support single moms.