When Wilhelmina Elsa Ford separated from her husband, despite the fact she had a successful business and owned her own home, she struggled to get a foot in the rental market.
She’s now using her life experience and professional skills to help other single parents trying to navigate the bewildering rental market with her business, ShareAbode.
Finding a place to live as single mother can be fraught, Wilhelmina told Kinderling Conversation.
“Applications are hard to get in on time. Getting to the inspections with kids in tow, on your own, is very hard. You also need to add to that the stress of a recent separation. You can feel vulnerable and without a place to go.”
“People are single for a whole lot of reasons (sometimes even death) and can’t hold a mortgage, lose family homes in divorces, 80% of women are left with the care of their kids. Many are really battling emotionally in the beginning, so ShareAbode can really help with bringing everything you need all under one roof. You find support and are living somewhere financially more affordable.”
What are the benefits of house sharing as a single parent?
Sharing a house with someone in a similar situation can be very supportive.
“It can be very lonely (as a single parent) when the kids are in bed, so sharing a house with someone can help alleviate those feelings,” said Wilhelmina.
“Emotional and financial stresses can really impede your healing and make life even tougher. By combining your rent, you can find a bigger, better place and a good environment can help support you.”
A “good’ match can help life generally.
And as Wilhelmina says your kids will also benefit from someone who “adds” to your family.
“Your kids can learn empathy, patience, sharing and responsibility. They’ll also be able to see a healthy relationship at work, if they haven’t witnessed that before.”
Who can benefit from Share Abode?
- A single parent with a home they’d like to share
- A single parent seeking a rental property
Whilemina also provides assistance for people needing support with the application process.
“I can get your applications ready and start looking around the areas you want and manage the process between you and another person.”
Listen to Wilhelmina on Kinderling Conversation
ShareAbode is free to join and Wilhelmina says she currently has 300 users registered to the site.
In terms of future planning, Wilhelmina wants to enhance the site’s trustworthiness; she’s lobbying for free police checks and personality testing to increase transparency and user confidence.
“I want to make the system appealing to parents who might be doubtful, fearful or apprehensive about the other single parents on there,” Wilhelmina says.
“I want all people on there to feel safe that who they are talking to is the real deal.”
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