“It Takes a Village” Single Parents Group

The Cause

Being a single parent can be incredibly isolating, but now with Covid-19 having shifted schools and workplaces online (plus restrictions on gatherings) this is even more of a concern.
The community of Ranchlands has a higher representation of single parent families then the city of Calgary on average. While the city, according to the 2016 census data, has 14% of families identifying as single parent homes, Ranchlands actually sits at 22%. This means that of our almost 2,155 families, there is about 465 families with just one parent present.

The Ranchlands community association would like to start a single parent support group and workshop program to help connect and unify the single parents households of our neighbourhood. Our intention is to help parents build support networks, make new friends and learn valuable skills that they can apply at home to help manage their everyday lives while also reminding them they are not alone in this journey. We will be looking at partnering with two different non-profits who will provide instructors that can teach parents about financial literacy for kids, meal planning and more.

Our proposed structure would see parents meet for an hour and a half on a monthly basis at our community association building. Parents will meet in one room with coffee and snacks for a half hour of socializing, a half hour workshop and then a half hour of discussion. Meanwhile, the kids of participants will be in another room of the hall with childcare providers for socializing, play, crafts and snacks. We would love to start with 20 parent participants (which is only about 0.05% of our single parent families) for this pilot project and if it is well received, we can look at expanding in the future. This program would be completely free to attend so our funding request is to contract childcare services as well as activities for the children.

We have already started planning future expansions to the program, including a free children's clothing swap and hair styling lessons for single dads with daughters.

Who Will it Benefit?

Single parents would be the biggest beneficiaries of this program, however we feel that the kids would also benefit greatly from making new friends in the child care room.
Overall, we think a program like this would benefit the community as a whole because when you lift up and support your neighbours, the sense of community and belonging impacts everyone.