According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 20 million children are currently living with a single parent in the United States. While most of these children live with single mothers, three million of them are living with single fathers.
Single parents face unique challenges in almost every area of life. For example, with only one income in the home, single parents may find it harder to afford quality housing, food and other necessities. Single parents also struggle to find adequate child care, mental health services and employment.
Below are some resources to help single parents overcome obstacles and provide the best life for themselves and their children.
Child Care Assistance
Single parents need to find good quality child care in order to hold a job. According to the Center for American Progress, the annual cost of child care for an infant is often higher than the cost of tuition at the typical public college. Child care assistance helps to reduce these costs and ensure that single parents are trusting the right provider to care for their children.
In many cases, people assume the role of a single parent following a divorce. Learning to live as a single parent is already challenging, and adding the stress of going through a divorce only increases these difficulties. The resources below are designed to provide support to single parents involved in divorce proceedings.
Drug and Alcohol Support
Some single parents in San Diego County struggle with drug and alcohol abuse disorders that make it difficult for them to create a safe, nurturing environment for their children. Seeking supportive services and treatment for these disorders allows single parents to overcome their addiction, improve their own lives and improve the lives of their children.
With only one income to support the home, single parents often struggle to make ends meet. The National Women’s Law Center reports that more than one in three single mothers in the United States are living in poverty. Financial assistance resources can help these parents to supplement their income and provide for their children more effectively.
Food Banks and Food Assistance
With more than 35 percent of single mothers living in poverty, it’s no surprise that many single parents are unable to afford enough healthy food to feed their families. Food banks and food assistance programs in San Diego County provide extra food to single parents who are struggling to cover this need on their own.
Free Local Family Fun Activities
One of the most important things a single parent can do to strengthen bonds with his or her children is to participate in fun activities as a family. However, when resources are limited, paying for movie tickets or other expensive activities can be impossible. Fortunately, plenty of free, family-friendly activities are available in the San Diego area.
Healthcare is essential for all types of parents and children. However, with healthcare expenses so high, single parents often have trouble affording adequate healthcare services for themselves and their children. Healthcare assistance programs in San Diego County help single parents get the medical attention they need at a lower cost.
Finding safe, suitable housing is essential for all single parents. However, housing in San Diego County is expensive, leading many single parents to struggle with this task. Housing assistance programs in this area can help single parents find more affordable housing options and/or help them with the cost of paying for a home.
Whether a single parent is involved in a child custody dispute or is facing criminal charges, having advice, guidance and representation from a qualified attorney is essential. Unfortunately, the cost of hiring an attorney is high, and some single parents aren’t able to afford these fees. Single parents facing legal issues can benefit from these San Diego County legal aid resources.
Mental Health Services
Dealing with mental health issues is important for any parent who wants to provide a good environment for his or her children. However, single parents who struggle with mental health concerns may have a harder time finding affordable treatment and supportive services. The resources below can help single parents with mental health issues to get the assistance they need.
For a single woman, pregnancy can be an overwhelming experience. From doctor’s appointments to purchasing the necessities for the coming baby, single pregnant women are forced to face a variety of challenges without support from a partner. The resources below are intended to provide support to single women during pregnancy.
Single Parent Support
Living as a single parent is a struggle. People in this situation can benefit from talking to other single parents about the challenges they face, as well as the obstacles they have overcome. San Diego County offers several support groups that allow single parents to share in each other’s lives, gain support and find a safe place to speak openly about their struggles.
Thrift stores in San Diego County sell gently used items at a significant discount. Single parents with limited resources can often find more affordable clothing, furniture and other necessities at these locations. San Diego County is home to a variety of conveniently-located thrift stores with an expansive inventory of available items.
In some cases, single mothers may become temporarily homeless. This may occur when a single mother is evicted, or when she is fleeing a dangerous situation, such as an abusive home. Regardless of the reason for her homelessness, San Diego County women’s shelters provide temporary housing for single mothers in bad situations.
Single parents cannot provide for their children without a reliable source of income. Unfortunately, unemployment and underemployment are common among single parents. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 27.5 percent of single mothers were unemployed and looking for work in 2016. These resources in San Diego County are designed to help single parents find suitable jobs.