Being a single mother to multiple children is challenging, but it has become twice as hard since the pandemic began.
Alisha Carter, a single mom of five daughters, has dealt with all sorts of troubles since the onset of the pandemic. The 35-year-old full-time postal worker has lost her home, lived in a hotel for a time, and moved into one of the homeless shelters in her home city of Baltimore.
Alisha couldn’t figure out what she did wrong. She had several good jobs and worked tirelessly, even during the pandemic. This tough mom had a career and never gave up. Still, she and her girls ended up being homeless.
Before COVID-19 devastated the entire world, Alisha rented a row home and worked as a full-time bus driver. The homeowners advised her that someone had purchased the house, prompting them to leave and find a new place to stay.
They eventually found temporary shelter in a hotel. However, Alisha subsequently lost her job as a bus driver due to school closings from COVID-19. This left her unemployed and with no money to provide for her family.
They had no place to go, so Alisha and her daughters lived out of a car for about two weeks. Thankfully, a friend decided to contact Sarah’s Hope—a comprehensive program that provides round-the-clock services for homeless families—and asked them to help the family.
“Sometimes you have to go through things to get stronger,” Alisha told ABC News of their experience. “I always felt like people that had stuff handed to them, they don’t value it, so, when you go through a struggle together with your family, it makes you stronger.”
The United States Census Bureau states that there are currently 13.6 million single parents in the U.S. who are raising 22.4 million children. Of those single parents, 80% are mothers.
Data gathered in Maryland alone has shown that African American mothers are the ones being hurt the most. Since the pandemic started, homelessness in Maryland has risen, with single mothers and people of color suffering the most.
There are only three available units for every 10 families in Maryland in need of stable housing, according to the Women’s Housing Coalition.
Leroy Fowlke, the Program Director of Sarah’s Hope, said:
“You have to look at even prior to the pandemic, the resources were scarce for people of color. As far as employment training opportunities, the communities themselves are not really conducive to growth in many situations. There’s so many obstacles to overcome, to get connected to what you need. So I really think the pandemic just kind of escalated that situation because now the resources are even more scarce.”
But even at the lowest point of her life, Alisha remained strong-willed and kept her faith.
While they were at the homeless shelter, she found a new job as a postal worker. Her children, on the other hand, continued attending school. Despite their difficult circumstances, the kids were just happy to be together.
Alisha worked hard and saved, and with the help of Sarah’s Hope, she and her daughters recently moved into a new home that they can really call their “home.”
“Every dark place always has a light, something that just brings light,” Alisha said. “Don’t underestimate yourself.”
Check out this brave single mother’s story of hope and how she made it through such a tough time in the video below.
Hopefully, Alisha’s story will inspire other struggling single mothers to never give up hope and keep on fighting even when the situation seems bleak. Indeed, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
If you were one of the many who were inspired by Alisha Carter’s story, don’t forget to share this with your friends and family.