Helping single moms below poverty line - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Helping single moms below poverty line

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One in three single mothers in the greater Birmingham area lives below the federal poverty line.

These women lack education, job training, childcare. Issues that compound any attempt to break free the chains of poverty.

Several organizations in the community understand that generations are at risk unless solutions can be found.

In most cases, the single mothers in poverty grew up in poverty. Their children are growing up in poverty. And, without education, this type of generational poverty sees no end.

One single mom, who hasn't given up is 33-year-old Monique Hall.

"I wanted more for my kids," says Hall.

Hall, a 33-year-old mother of five, recently earned her GED.

Tears come easily when she talks about her life and why that goal was so important.

"If you can get a GED, it's a step closer to achieving something for your kids," says Hall. "It's to encourage them to know, that they can do better. They don't have to accept the current situation that they're in."

The Women's Fund of greater Birmingham, and other organizations work to help families like Hall's break the generational cycle of poverty.

"The poverty line isn't going down, it's actually increasing for single women," says Jeanne Jackson, president and CEO of The Women's Fund.

Jackson explains how several organizations are collaborating to try to reverse that trend.

Five groups pitched their ideas on how to work together to help single women in poverty.

Two prizes of $25,000 each will serve as "seed money" to get these projects off the ground.

"The $25,000 will be used to begin their project, so today they're saying 'this is what we like' 'this is our vision' 'if we had the money, here's how we could work together," says Jackson.

For Monique Hall, she sees each day as another opportunity to better her life. She offers words of encouragement to all single women in poverty.

"Keep your head up, there's nothing you can't achieve," says Hall.

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