"It's not about you any more," Young said, Striker happily playing nearby.
"It's all about your child and the good decisions you have to make for them." First Steps, a centre for homeless, single mothers, is a safe haven, a daycare and and a provider of in-house high school education to the dozen women currently living there.
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"We have created more issues for families, and as more issues have arisen, unfortunately, the public services going along with them haven't grown." A 2008 University of Toronto study of Statistics Canada data found poverty levels among single mothers following a downward trend between 19, with average earnings rising by 39 per cent and their low-income rate declining by 11 percentage points.
Canadian governments facing budget deficits must resist the temptation to cut back on programs designed to help mothers and fathers improve their education and overcome barriers to employment, said social worker and researcher Michael Saini.
Lone-parent families represented 16.3 per cent of all census families in 2011, nearly twice the percentage of 1961, before the advent of 1968's Divorce Act and a steadily growing proportion of parents who never got married in the first place.
"I don't think there's much difference between males and females raising their kids," Monzerolle said. I go to work, I go home, I cook supper and it's time for bed." Lidia Sok, who became a single mom a year ago at 19, said First Steps has inspired her to get a high school diploma, much like the 40 other graduates whose photos are proudly displayed on the centre's main floor.
More Canadians than ever — many of them fathers — are confronting the plight of the single parent in an age of economic uncertainty and growing disparity between rich and poor, new census numbers released Wednesday suggest.
The number of single parents jumped eight per cent between 20, including a 16 per cent spike in the number of single fathers, Statistics Canada reported.
"They helped me with schooling and they helped me get into an apartment." In Saint John, single parenthood and poverty seem to go hand in hand in some neighbourhoods, said Sharon Amirault, who's been running the First Steps centre for the last 10 years.
"Poverty can be caused by addiction and mental health, the pregnancy can be the result of mental health issues and poverty," Amirault said.
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And they face many of the same issues as single mothers, including the need for more education and income, said Edward Monzerolle, 39, a roofer who's father to two boys aged five and 14.