New Pittsburgh Courier

When She Thrives Helps Unite Single Moms

PO Box 675

Coraopolis, PA 15108

www.whenshethrives.org

In Allegheny County, 28 percent of households are headed by single mothers. Just over 70 percent of poor households in Allegheny County are headed by single moms, 68 percent of which are Black moms. As a single mom herself, Tiffany Huff-Strothers founded When She Thrives to combat these statistics.

Officially launching in 2016, When She Thrives is a nonprofit organization dedicated to equipping single mothers to move their families from poverty to prosperity through advocacy, education, personal and professional development.

“We look at that holistically,” said Huff-Strothers. “For example, your definition of prosperity or success for your family right now is different than my definition for my family. It’s really important that we have those different entry points so that nobody feels left out or that they can’t get what they need.”

The different entry points are in reference to various ways When She Thrives seeks to support single moms. For immediate needs, When She Thrives created Growing Through Grants, where moms can apply for emergency funds set up to prevent homelessness and hunger. Their Scenes from a Single Mom series give moms an opportunity to bond and share their stories either as a blog, podcast or even as authors through a book series.

“It’s always been the vision to have that sisterhood because it’s really important for people in general, but especially single moms to know that they are not expected to grow alone. We grow better together,” said Huff-Strothers.

Another way collective growth is achieved is through SOAR (Successfully Overcoming Adversity with Resilience) cohorts. Over eight months, When She Thrives provides multigenerational programming for moms to advocate for causes close to their hearts and for their kids to learn about food sustainability.

“A lot of these programs put bandages on hemorrhaging wounds and also take a one size fits all approach,” said Huff-Strothers. “We know that is not effective, so we try as much as possible to be able to create an experience for the person and not the number that represents them or the families we serve.”

Operating as CEO, Huff-Strothers admits it’s not easy to run a nonprofit these days but remains motivated by the impact her organization is making.

“It’s very easy to say wow you helped these 40 women to become authors, but when someone is different than when she first filled out that application or came to that open house…that makes a world of difference knowing that she has transformed holistically and not just on the surface.”