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The Children’s Defense Fund, a national group advocating for better programs for children, said in 2014 that “more than two full-time minimum wage jobs were necessary to be able to afford a fair market rent two-bedroom apartment in Maine and still have enough left over for food, utilities and other necessities.” The emotional reality is that a single parent’s psychological reserves and resilience often aren’t enough to handle the demands of work and one, two or three children whose father or fathers provide little-to-no help or support.And the practical reality is that getting public assistance of any sort usually requires multiple frustrating interactions with multiple government agencies, which means things — and people — can get lost between the cracks.And in a politically charged era when the Le Page administration has spent six years targeting “welfare fraud,” allies of the poor don’t want to give any ammunition to politicians they believe unfairly denigrate the poor.They say that being a single mother in Maine doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent or bad person.Many single mothers in Maine manage to provide their children with the love, care and opportunities they need and deserve.In interviews across the state, from kitchens to schools to social service agencies to police departments, the chorus was universal: single mothers want the best for their children.Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Mesa, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Queens, Raleigh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose, San Diego, Seattle, St Louis, Tallahassee, Toledo, Tucson, Tulsa sites on the internet.
For these women (and many of the women who conceive out of wedlock today), being single can have many benefits (including benefits for children) and can be empowering, even though they are far more likely to be in poverty.” Sen. Based on state reports, the single largest percentage of cases of abuse and neglect investigated by the state in 2015 came from homes headed either by single mothers or by two unmarried, cohabiting parents, at 35 percent each. in Machias, whose ministry includes working with many poor families headed by single mothers, said that avoiding a public discussion about the issue has been doing a disservice to the needs of the single mothers and their children.Naomi Schalit is a senior reporter at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, a nonpartisan, non-profit news service based in Augusta. “You have to be able to name it or you can’t work with it,” she said.“You have to have balls — it’s critical to name it.” Some single mothers do feel shamed. is in her late 30s and living in a rented house in rural central Maine with her three-year-old daughter.The poverty rate for Maine families in 2014 would be 27.8 percent lower if the share of families headed by single mothers remained at the 1970 level, according to researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Center for Public Policy.As of 2014, the most recent statistics available, 111,000 of Maine’s 260,000 children, age birth to 18, are classified as living in low-income families and families living at the poverty level. It means being raised by a single mother who, no matter how hard she works, can’t earn enough money to feed her children.
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Noble described in the Washington Post in 2015 how poverty hurts children: “When parents are distracted or depressed, family life is likely to be characterized by conflict and emotional withdrawal rather than nurturing and supportive relationships with children.