RICHMOND, Va. -- A growing number of families in Metro Richmond are headed by a single parent versus decades ago, according to the findings of a new study.
The study conducted by self.inc, a financial technology company, revealed more than 25 percent of families living in Central Virginia are single income.
The financial impacts between single and dual income households are drastic.
Single parent households in Richmond earn about $40,000 each year. The findings showed dual-parent households earn more than double that, on average, about $114,500 a year.
Children are now twice as likely to live with a single parent versus just a few decades ago.
“In 1968, only 12% of children lived with a single parent, most often their mother,” according to the report.
The study showed non-traditional living arrangements tend to offer less financial stability. A single parent family is more likely to live in poverty.
Victoria Newsome, a single mother of three boys, has lived a resilient life.
She moved to Central Virginia more than 10 years ago to escape a domestic violence situation. Newsome sought out help from strangers to help her get back on her feet.
Newsome found the Fresh Start for Single Mothers and their Children Community Outreach Project. The non-profit offered her a lifeline when she had nowhere else to go.
“Fresh start was a lifesaver,” she explained. “Sometimes when you’re in that type of situation you don’t know how to balance a checkbook and you have to start off fresh. All the way to car care.”
A decade later and Newsome now serves on the Fresh Start board helping other women like when strangers helped her family.
“We just want to make sure every mom that is feeling overwhelmed has somewhere to go,” Newsome said.
The pandemic hit single-income families especially hard. In some cases, one parent in a dual-income household was able to leave their job and stay home with their children.
Newsome was forced to find a way to pay for childcare when she once relied on the school system. Students who ate breakfast and lunch at school were relying on their families to provide three meals a day in many instances.
The pandemic forced Newsome and the Fresh Start volunteers to cancel in-person classes and childcare for their single mothers. They would also use that opportunity to feed the families and provide them with clothes and other household items.
“Unfortunately, we have only been able to do Zoom meetings right now,” Newsome recalled.
Fresh Start has set a return goal of the Fall. If you’d like to contact the non-profit or donate to the organization financially visit: https://www.whatsnextfreshstart.org