First, take a deep breath. It's gonna be okay. Secondly, get out a note pad and start taking some notes, I'm about to give you a ton of information that you can use to fight your way out. Try not to feel overwhelmed, just take it a step at a time. I'm gonna break it all down for you. As I see it your goals are to get out of the abusive situation, to generate some income, to survive on possibly low income, and to find suitable housing so that you can see your kids.
So lets look at it in order here. Firstly I will tell you that there are a list of places that you can go to get out of the abusive situation. However, it may mean losing temporary visitation with your children. It will also mean that you'll need another way to access internet and phone services that you will need to find help. A library might be a good alternative for internet and phone access should you decide to take up a shelter. Look up shelters in your local area and call a few to make arrangements if you wish to leave now.
Other helpful ideas can be found on HelpGuide.org
. You can always call 1800-799-SAFE (7233) to talk to people anonymously who can walk you through the situation and help you figure out the best course of action for you. And there are of course a listing of local centers you can find on their website: The Hotline
. If you choose to go to a shelter, yes, you may lose temporary visition with your kids, however, it is not a permanent situation and you can get to a better place in your life, it's simply a different series of steps. So do whatever you feel is right for you.
Now lets talk about money. There are a few ways you can tackle this problem. First check out your local unemployment office and talk to them about getting on unemployment as well as college assistance (if you're interested in going back to school) and job programs designed to get you back in the working world. Odds are they should have at least a few recommendations for you. Remember that in some cases, college also supplies housing (not dorm rooms) for single parents and family housing. My own college has a housing section low income housing right on campus that caters specifically to married couples, families, single parents, and people over 25 years of age so that they can afford to go to school and still live in apartments or town houses.
You can also check out a website, Single Mom
, to find assistance programs, jobs, grants, advice on living on a budget, resources, education and more. There are government grants that help mothers get back in school or that give them money to help them survive. Obama instituted a scholarship program specifically for single moms. Call around and start hunting down the applications for these programs. Check local colleges, the unemployment office, your local government center. Also look into local temp agencies because they'll help you find jobs and work with you to keep you working when you're having trouble finding work.
Housing can be gotten for free or for low income. There are many programs available that can help you get affordable housing. Hud's Public Housing Program
or Hud's Section 8 Housing Voucher
. There's also Mercy Housing
, Low Income Housing Resoruce
, and The SPAOA
designed to work with single parents to find housing. There's a subsidary of SPAOA called Single Mommie
that can help you find government grants, housing, income, scholarships, and more. E-How
even has a listing of programs designed to help single mothers find housing.
Once you get that housing and low income the goal will be to spend wisely and to find extra pennies wherever you can. Suddenly Frugal
has some great ideas on how to make every dollar count. Ebay Classifieds
allow you to search your local area for free or cheap things people are getting rid of and you can also post ads for free asking for the things you need. You can ask people in your social networks online and people you know in real life to help you financially through various donation fundraiser sites. You won't get rich, but you might find that friends who can spare a few dollars are willing to pitch in. Such sites as: Chipin
, Give Forward
, and Go Fund Me
are designed as personal fundraising sites to let others help you get the money you need to meet your goals.
Don't despair. There's a better life waiting right around the corner and things will look up. It's gonna take a little time but you can start aligning all of the pieces of your puzzle right now and turn your life around. I have every faith in you that you've got the strength and willpower to make it. If you ever need an ear though, feel free to contact me.