Springfield, MO

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Startup Corner: Janelle Reed, SingleMomzRock

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Minimally viable product …
SingleMomzRock started as a very grassroots organization based on my own personal needs after my divorce. It grew way beyond my hopes of having a Bible study for single moms in my home. We have been helping single moms since 2012 and have literally helped hundreds, local and beyond, with resources and immediate needs.

Problem solving …
We have a Facebook group for local single moms. It’s a safe place for them to confide in others that may be going through the same things they are. It’s also the place where we share local resources for any moms who might be in need as well as share the events we create specifically to make sure these mothers have that community in each other.

Seed money …
Any marketing materials I had ever made was used from personal funds or sometimes a church would help me with that.

Hurdles overcome …
Making sure the public is aware that not all single moms are on welfare and living off the system because they want to be. The moms I work with are in poverty, yes, but that marker really isn’t hard to hit. They also work full time, sometimes a second or third job, maybe going back to school to get a degree all the while raising their children and for the most part not having any outside support doing so. It takes a village nowadays; we try to be that village. One way we did this, is by taking a few of our moms to Jefferson City three years ago to testify on behalf of the “cliff effect” bill that was in front of the House of Representatives. It was one of the most empowering moments of my life.

Next phase …
SingleMomzRock came under Victory Mission in November 2017. This partnership not only expands our services we are able to provide single moms but also for women’s programming in Springfield. [Editor’s note: Reed also works as outreach and special events manager for Victory Mission.]

Pivot …
When we started, we met twice a month for studies and resource meetings. After a few years, we ended up going to virtual online meetings because of outgrowing space, having to provide child care and feeding everyone. It’s still not perfect, but we are working on a way to get back to the more personal feeling of connecting with each other outside of our larger events.

Biggest mistake …
Not immediately getting together an advisory council of professionals who could give us advice for moving forward in waters that had not been waded in yet.

Greatest need …
I see the gaps in our community for women and children. The greatest needs we usually see are affordable housing, child care and car repair.


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