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An interview with DaAnne Smith of the Single Mother's Outreach (part 1)

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Single Mother's Outreach is an organization which started in Santa Clarita in 1995 as a resource for struggling single moms. Since they became a non-profit in 1998, SMO has served over 1700 families. After spending several years in Newhall, they recently moved to 26881 Reuther Avenue. I spoke with DaAnne Smith their the Executive Director. The conversation included everything from how this organization started to coaching for individuals and churches on how to help Single Moms and Dads. Due to it's value and length, it's been split into two parts. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

LA Faith and Family Examiner: How did Single Mother’s Outreach begin?

DaAnne: By a single mom who moved to Santa Clarita and wanted to connect with other single moms for support, it grew from there.

LAF&F: How did you get involved?

DaAnne: I joined the board in 2006 became president in 2007, left in 2009 and became Executive Director officially.

LAF&F: What are the goals of this organization?

DaAnne: Self sustainability. We want to help parents who find themselves stuck , whether it’s financially, emotionally or professionally. We want to help them move forward.

LAF&F: Single Mother's Outreach is not a specifically Christian organization, it is open to people of all religious backgrounds, correct?

DaAnne: "Yes, that's right."

LAF&F: How does its mission reflect your faith?

DaAnne: "I really see this as a ministry, and I want to reach out to churches for help. We are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It's not just at the organizational level but...Christians being who we're called to be. As Christians, we're called to be Christ's ambassadors. It isn't in just the church but out in the world. That's what Single Mother's Outreach is. It's out in the world."

LAF&F: Does Single Mother’s Outreach only serve moms or dads as well?

DaAnne: Yes, we help single dads too. The primary outreach is women. They fall to the bottom of the economic barrel. We have an outreach to the men specifically. We devote Thursdays on our blog to single Dads.

LAF&F: Are churches connected to this organization?

DaAnne: “It’s tough. I’ve experienced mixed success. They (the churches) don’t know who I am. We have received money from some or many of our volunteers attend local churches.

LAF&F: Which churches have helped whether monetarily or with volunteers?

DaAnne: Every Road Covenant, Real Life Church, Valencia United Methodist, Valencia Hills Community Church, Church on the Way (Santa Clarita), Higher Vision, The Sanctuary, Desert Streams Church, Christ Lutheran, Newhall Baptist, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Blessed Kateri, and some of the Santa Clarita Latter Day Saints.

LAF&F: Could you still use more help?

DaAnne: Yes, absolutely.

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow containing success stories and ideas for how churches and individuals can help single mothers and fathers.

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