Melanie’s Story – Moving from poverty to possibility

A dream comes true for a single mom and her family

Mélanie and her kids were living in a substandard apartment. Thanks to a United Way funded agency, she found a new home and is starting her own business.

Single mothers going through hard times need to ask for help, says Mélanie.

“My last apartment was very small and rundown, but I couldn’t move out of it, because of my financial situation as a single mom. I was depressed. This affected my children, which made me even sadder. It was a dark time for us.

My financial problems were overwhelming. They were all I thought about, and they became an incredible source of stress. I told myself that things weren’t so bad, but deep down, I was ashamed.

Eventually, I accepted my situation and asked for help. Although it was the right thing to do, reaching out for help was very difficult. A program for single mothers at a United Way funded agency helped us move into a new subsidized apartment. The effect on my family was almost immediate. Hide it as much as you want: If Mom isn’t happy, the kids aren’t either.

Once I felt better, I saw a change in my kids’ behaviour. They were much more joyful every day. I hadn’t even realized how much of an impact I had on them.

The move also reignited my passion for my former job in esthetics and massage therapy. I dreamt of opening my own salon, a dream that is coming true, thanks to the money I’m saving on rent and the support I get from the agency.

I want other single mothers going through the same thing to not worry about what other people think. You may be afraid of how others will judge you, or you may not think you’re good enough. You feel like a failure. But you have to find a way to rise above all that. Once you accept your situation, you can get help and move forward.”

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