A new housing program helping single mothers opened its doors in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood Saturday morning. It will give ten single moms and their families a chance to rebuild their lives.
The program is a partnership between the Union Gospel Mission and Ballard’s Philadelphia Church. Pastor Derek Forseth got the idea after a visit from another pastor a few years ago.
“A Nazarene pastor came into my office, I didn’t know what he was doing there" Forseth explained. “He said you need to have a burden for single mothers and their children."
The words triggered something in the pastor and his congregation and they started SMART-Single Mothers Acquiring Resources and Training. The group decided to try and help with the rising cost of living.
Single mothers, like Roxanne Curry, say it can be tough to make ends meet in the Seattle area. Health and employment problems left Curry and her daughter with nowhere to go last year.
“We just went through a spiral, a downward spiral and ended up homeless" Curry said. Now, they’re the first residents of the transitional home.
Curry plans to get more education and hopes to find a better job.
“It’s like you’re stepping out there but you still have some type of security so you don’t feel like you’re just going out there with nobody behind you."
Residents pay on a sliding scale that is tied to how much they can afford. The plan is to give them a few years here so they can get back on their feet.
It’s all done with donations and volunteers who say they’re following a higher calling and hope other groups will take on the mission.
“The need is huge” Forseth said. “I’m praying more people decide to come along and partner with other groups and decide to do this.”
In addition to the transitional housing, the group helps with food and clothing.