Program Lends Single Mothers a Hand


theme_mentoringIf you’re very, very lucky, you can’t imagine what it’s like to be in a difficult situation with no hope and no idea of how to get yourself out of it.

If you’re like the rest of us, though, you can think back to a time where things seemed almost impossible. And if you were lucky, you had someone to help you work your way out of it. That’s the idea behind a Cinncinatti program called “Parent Partners” offered by the Beech Acres Parenting Center. They match mothers who are struggling with parent partners who can help them get on their feet.

One such mentor is Superior Reliford (a pretty awesome name for a mentor), who was paired with Sharon Long. Long was a single mom of four kids, the youngest three still at home. She lost her job and they moved into a public housing project, which was unfortunately in a very bad neighborhood. Her kids would wake up crying after hearing gunshots, and their school performance and behavior started to decline.

Long was depressed, and could see no way out of her situation. When she was matched with Reliford, her mentor helped her to set goals, get into counseling to deal with her depression, and learn how to dress for interviews. She got a job with a cleaning service in February, and in October found a three-bedroom house to rent in a much nicer neighborhood.

Long credits Reliford with helping her get back on track. “Ms Superior kept pushing me and pushing me,” she said. “She did not want to give up on me.”

When you’ve all but given up on yourself, that’s an invaluable kind of person to have in your corner.

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