Being a parent can be hard enough in a dual-parent household. Being a single mother is immeasurably more difficult. Add in hardships brought on by circumstances and destructive decisions, and life can seem impossible. Recognizing a need among these struggling single mothers, several local women, who were no strangers to helping other ladies out, are providing a new beginning to these mothers and their children.
Fresh Start for Women opened its doors in Owensboro on November 1, 2016, with low-cost housing that provides positive “community” support for women trying to get back on their feet. As the local ladies looked to help the community, they reached out to other agencies that help women in areas such as housing and life skills. Their ultimate goal is to place these women on the path to success.
This special 12-apartment complex is located in downtown Owensboro and provides a safe and encouraging atmosphere for those in search of bettering themselves for a more hope-filled future.
Modeled after The Next Door in Nashville, TN, Fresh Start for Women is a place where single mothers, along with their children, are experiencing the struggles that accompany divorce, domestic violence, drug recovery and many other life challenges. But like its name, Fresh Start is a place women can come to reside and begin anew with the assistance of a program designed to empower them and honor them so that they do not return to a destructive lifestyle or unhealthy relationships.
Fresh Start for Women offers a safe living environment, with a property manager on site, and the rule that no men are allowed on the premises so that the women are not reliant on a relationship or a partner to obtain their new life. The focus is on personal growth for them and their children. This is achieved by mentoring from a recovery advisor who helps residents, through a one-on-one monthly session, to focus on the tenant’s current situation and develop a feasible plan for the future.
Fresh Start housing is not free, but is designed for those who need a hand up. The women must go through a proper application process. Fresh Start provides the women partial payment towards their rent, as well as a safe atmosphere to raise their children. Additionally, the residents are required to be enrolled in activities that promote the betterment of life for their future. These can include, but aren’t limited to, budgeting, parenting, church, and recovery programs. The current maximum length of stay at Fresh Start housing is one year, but there is no minimum stay required.
Fresh Start relies on the partnership with other community agencies to navigate the women to the required services, as they do not have them on site.
This also holds true with funding. Fresh Start relies on the kindness and generosity of local citizens to see the value in the work they are doing, and hope they will want to be a part of the many new starts they are providing for women in our area.
They currently have no debt thanks to the generosity of Owensboro/Daviess County residents. However, further donations are needed and welcomed to help additional families, and to continue this vital community service. Fresh Start graciously accepts money, toiletries, laundry items and food products.
As you can see, Fresh Start for Women is changing and enhancing the lives of single mothers and their children. It’s more than a structure that provides housing; it rebuilds lives for those starting fresh.
For more information, or to donate please contact:
Fresh Start for Women
P.O. Box 1386
Owensboro, KY 42302
*This article first appeared in April/May ’17 issue of Owensboro Living Magazine.