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Resources for single parents struggling during the pandemic

Posted at 11:12 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 09:08:45-04

FOND DU LAC  — Single mom, Keisha Brooks of Fond Du Lac, had three bartending jobs before COVID-19 hit. She's been waiting for her stimulus check and her unemployment payments. It's been 60 days. She says it feels like an eternity.

“The fact that they're telling me next week, it gives me hope. The fact that they keep telling me after midnight, it gives me hope, but I don’t know. I just am doing what I can do, day by day, minute by minute, second by second, that's how I am making it,” said Brooks.

Brooks wants to get back to work. She's applying to other jobs while taking care of her 11-year-old son at home. She can't pay her rent right now, and to help put food on the table, she had to take out loans from friends.

“We're stuck. We don't know what to do,” said Brooks, who has been working since she was 14-years-old.

Nicole Angresano with the United Way says anyone in a tough spot in our state should first call 2-1-1 to find out where you can get meals or financial help.

“There are trained navigators on the other end of the phone and depending on where somebody lives, what their specific personal circumstances are, 2-1-1 knows what they are eligible for,” Angresano said.

For single parents, Angresano said there's resources available through a non-profit group in southeast Wisconsin called The Hope Network.

"The Hope Network provides resources to single parents, so they have job listings, childcare listings, they have opportunities for parents to swap goods, you know kids are always outgrowing their clothes, they're on to the next size,” continued Angresano.

She also encourages struggling families to contact your local church or see if your neighborhood started any support programs.

“You know sometimes I think one of the things we forget or that we miss is that resources are only good if we people know about them,” Angresano said.

Brooks is taking deep breaths. And she’s praying.

“Look at your babies and understand that they are the reasons and we'll make it. We'll make it,” Brooks said.

To start a live chat with 2-1-1, click here or you can visit the website.

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