Giving hope to single moms

Providing opportunities where there otherwise are none

Giving hope to single moms

When Carla Ludwig’s daughter became a single mother her freshman year of college, she came face-to-face with the many challenges a single mom can experience.

“She had only done one year of college and was initially unable to complete her degree program,” Ludwig said. “Without those career skills, you’re limited in the jobs that you can get for anyone, especially women with children. My heart went out and I thought, I need to do something about this.”

Ludwig did research and connected with nonprofits in other states, creating the blueprint for what would become Hope for Single Moms (HSM), an organization designed to serve single mothers and help them with access to education, financial stability and other resources.

“Nearly half of single mom families live in poverty, and poverty has long-term negative effects on children regardless of their age,” Ludwig said. “Our goal is to change that by providing opportunities where otherwise there are none. Our program involves financial resources, mentoring, creating that bond within the family as well as relationships with community, with other single moms, with the mentor we provide and continuing to provide the resources to learn how to budget, so that once they do obtain that financial self-sufficiency, they can maintain it.”

Hope for Single Moms gives their clients the kind of day-to-day support that creates a lasting impact on their lives and the lives of their children.

“If there’s a need, like a car repair, we can provide the finances and intermediate transportation during that process,” Ludwig said. “It’s important to us as well that these women and children get to have family time because they’re never going to get this time back at that age. Whatever we can do to make sure that happens, whether it’s finances to go to Chuck E. Cheese or create that opportunity for family meals in the evenings and build stronger relationships with the parent and the child.”

Around the holidays, HSM asks their client families to create a wish list so they can give gifts to both mothers and their children. Learn more about how you can support at

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Ever since Pasha Shipp could talk, she's been dreaming up colorful stories. Fantasy creatures, mysterious kingdoms, enchanted forests, you name it. As she reached adulthood, she decided to take the magic out of her head and put it down on paper. Pasha has been writing for Grand Rapids Magazine since November 2015, and has loved every minute of it. She has a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University respectively. When she isn't daydreaming and writing stories for the magazine, she's exploring the many hidden treasures of Grand Rapids with her fiancé.