Helping a Single Mom Survive Pandemic Poverty
Rent comes first. That was Taisha’s philosophy when she became one of many to face financial hardship due to COVID-19. The single mom of four – ages 15, 11, 5, and 3 – worked in a daycare for years but lost her job when there weren’t enough children attending after the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns eased.
The loss of her job made it easier for her to oversee her children’s e-learning, but much harder to make ends meet. She had to start prioritizing what bills to pay first. “I figured, if we can’t get stuff, we can’t get it. I’d rather have a roof over our head,” she said. But as the months without a job went on, she started struggling to pay her rent on time – or at all.
Taisha called several agencies to see if she qualified for rental assistance. Thankfully, one of those calls was to The Salvation Army. When she reached the staff at the Harbor Light Corps Community Center, she received rental assistance, household items, and groceries from their food pantry. They also helped her apply for unemployment benefits and utilities assistance.
She worked with a Pathway of Hope caseworker at the Harbor Light corps, a woman who soon meant a lot to her. “If not for her, I don’t know where we’d be,” Taisha said. “Probably homeless or living with my mom or in a shelter.”
“We have a large population of clients with a similar story,” the caseworker said. “Single parents with several kids and unemployed due to the pandemic.”
As she has with many of these clients, the caseworker invited Taisha to take part in our Pathway of Hope program, which offers individualized services to families to help them become self-sufficient. She knows that Taisha is interested in going back to school to become a medical assistant, a job that would provide a better salary to support her family.
“Taisha was approved for unemployment benefits and is doing very well,” the caseworker said. “She’s excited to hopefully start school.” She calls Taisha occasionally to check on any needs and to cheer her progress.
“The Salvation Army helped a lot,” Taisha said. “If not for them, I don’t know where I’d be – probably homeless and going crazy.” Thankfully, with The Salvation Army’s help, she can focus on much more hopeful things – like her children and the family’s future.