Within the city of Santa Clarita, there are many nonprofit organizations, big and small. The Single Mother’s Outreach is one of the many that have stuck to their message and primary goal of saving single mothers across the community.
Founded in 1995, SMO, known as the Single Mother’s Outreach, has been an organization for moms in all cracks and lights of the community to come together and get help and share their scars and hearts and volunteer at the organization.
Its mission is to empower single mothers. Knowing that it’s easier said than done, SMO won’t stray away from settling for more when it comes to uplifting every mother that has felt let down, if ever.
It’s a place that makes sure that not only the mothers are taken care of, but the children too.
“SMO has impacted my life in many ways,” said Stephanie Salcedo, the administrative assistant for Single Mothers Outreach. “Before working here, I was introduced to SMO by my mom who received services here after my father passed away. I have witnessed the positive impact SMO can have on a single parent who is alone caring for their children.”
“Once I began working here, this place has allowed me to give back and to meet so many strong women who are inspirational to me.”
SMO makes sure that each mom feels welcomed and is provided with mental health care, career development, housing and more. SMO also provides them with donations. They’re able to come to the office and receive donations like diapers, food, hygiene products, shampoo and more for themselves and their families.
They believe that with the cases they’ve seen and through the experience of life, it’s hard for them to manage their money and budget, so they provide the mothers with financial tools as best as they can.
“We have empowering workshops that empower women,” said Stephanie Montoya, Single Mothers Outreach program director. “We have financial workshops, like financial peace university, where it teaches our moms how to budget their money. And as a single parent, it’s hard because you’re only relying on one income, which is their income.”
The nonprofit organization also provides its mothers with hotel vouchers when it’s needed. If one happens to be experiencing homelessness or she is going to get evicted from her home and needs some days to stay somewhere and avoid the night, that will be provided until connections with family members are made. The organization also connects with other nonprofits like Family Promise and Bridge to Home, where they provide transitional housing. Referring to some of their moms who need it for them to find longer-term housing stability with them.
But for the organization, having to transition from meeting moms in person and holding events has been tough due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And for the moms and their children, it’s been hard as well. Having the kids at home as a single parent isn’t easy, especially the closure of childcare facilities and schools. But the organization still managed to get funding and buy laptops and rent the laptops to the moms so they remain connected.
And for the children, SMO never stops pulling away from their effort to bring happiness to them.
“Right now, we have a dance program for the kids. We’ve provided them with dance scholarships and even more activities. So, it’s not only just for mothers, but it’s for their kids as well. We ask how can we impact directly the moms and their children,” said Montoya
The moms are also provided with clothing from the organization’s boutique store called “Closet on Main” in downtown Newhall. Once a month, the moms are given free clothing. Their goal is to discover the many ways they can support the moms and their children of the future and how they can continue serving them, believing that they deserve the best.
Small bulletin board for SMO, a workshop for the moms. Photo by Cheryl Akpenyi
“The population we serve at SMO have experienced difficult situations,” Salcedo said. “However, it is amazing to be a part of their journey. I have witnessed the resilience women have. They continue pursuing their goals despite obstacles they have faced.”
No matter how big or small, this nonprofit organization will continue to grow and invite women until their haven and let them know that they’re not alone in the community.
To donate go to https://singlemothersoutreach.org/