Being a single parent can be a real struggle.
Jeri Hunley can understand. That’s why she’s so motivated to help others. She’s the founder of Single Family Living. Watch her story above.
Hunley remembers finding out she was pregnant for the first time. Too afraid to tell her religious parents she was pregnant outside of marriage, she found herself pregnant and homeless in her twenties.
“I was scared. I was thankful. I was blessed. I was overwhelmed all at the same time,” she said. “I was ashamed of the decision that I had made. My parents raised me to make good decisions to be independent, to be strong and sometimes you’re not always gonna make the right decisions.”
She would eventually make the decision to tell them. Like the loving parents she knew them to be they were welcoming and helped her raise her son Jaleel and later daughter Jasmine.
“I felt blessed,” she said. “I felt like this was the best family that I could have. I felt that I was loved.”
That love, Hunley understands, isn’t there for every single parent. Even with help, she understands the challenges of being a single parent. Now, a mother of two, she vowed to help other single parents who don’t have the help she did and started the non-profit, Single Family Living.
“Our mission is to empower, to mentor and inspire single parents and youth with things such as affordable housing, combating illiteracy and supporting mental health,” said Hunley.
She started the non profit about six years ago and helps single moms and dads. They provide virtual education and tutoring, resources to combat homelessness, life skills, housing retention and even donations for free gowns and formal clothing for teens among other services. For Hunley, helping others is her way of giving back the way her parents helped her and continue to.
“It’s therapeutic,” she said. “I feel that I’m living my life through them because I’ve lived it. Just because I am where I am now doesn’t mean that I am not living it still.”
She hopes other single parents will understand Single Family Living is just here to help.
“Stay strong,” she said. “Stay strong. Believe in yourself. Don’t allow anybody to tell you that you can’t do the best for you and your child.”
To learn more about the organization, go here: www.singlefamilyliving.org