Single mothers at a loss as pandemic prevents them from getting jobs, access to childcare
Right now, as we try to normalize some aspects of our lives, some parents are at a loss when it comes to the pandemic.
Single parents are finding it difficult to find a job because they can’t leave their children at home.
We spoke with two women on unpaid leave who are losing hope as they struggle to get through this pandemic.
Kimberly Anderson is an unemployed bartender and trainer. She’s also a single mother feeling financial pressure.
“There are moms out there that are hiding it,” she said. “It’s there. No help, no answers, no human contact.”
Anderson wanted to tell her story in support of Kimberly Woods, another single mom we introduced you to Tuesday.
Both women are willing and ready to work, but have no viable option for childcare.
“I have no one to watch them,” Woods said. “Who’s going to watch them? They’re small…they’re in kindergarten and 5th grade, so I can’t leave them home alone.”
“Not everybody is lucky enough to have their family around,” Anderson said. “I’m lucky enough to have my mom, but my mom and my son can’t be hanging out all the time. My mom is very high risk.”
We know lots of single moms. In fact, many parents are looking for childcare.
Those who call United Way’s 2-1-1 line get help finding what might be available.
“Kimberly’s right. There are a lot of single families not getting answers,” Anderson said.
So what is a single mom to do?
“I don’t know,” Anderson said. “That’s a scary question, to be honest with you.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared before,” Woods said.
The United Way says while more day cares are opening up again, that’s not the answer for parents of most younger school-age kids, and with summer camps in doubt, there may be no good solution until school opens again, we hope, in the fall.
Anderson said she applied for unemployment, like many of you, and was denied. as for Woods, after our original story, the United Way of Lee County reached out to her to try and help her make ends meet.