INDIANAPOLIS — Single Parent Connection, Inc. is a self-described “labor of love” for Dionne Brown.
The single mom herself is determined to help other single parents in every way she knows how.
“We’re trying to be that someone for those who have no one,” Brown said.
Brown’s nonprofit work is personal. She is a single mom who raised her now 19-year-old son.
“Well, as a single parent, a lot of times you do have those moments where you feel alone and no one understands the things that you’re going through. That’s where single parent connection comes in,” Brown said.
The nonprofit works to provide “education, empowerment and support” for single parents and their children. Brown said about 200 parents and families have utilized Single Parent Connection since it began four years ago.
“Just being a single parent and coming from a single-parent household ... it’s heartwarming. It really is,” Brown said.
What makes the nonprofit unique, Brown said, is the idea someone who understands the triumphs and struggles of single parents is behind the programming and events offered.
“I could discern her spirit and knew that what she was doing and offering for our community was something that not only I wanted to be a part of but something I wanted my son to be a part of,” said Tiffany Linza, a single parent of four living in Indianapolis.
Linza’s youngest child, 12-year-old Braylen, is a part of Single Parent Connection’s summer program called “Boys to Men.”
“There are certain lessons he needs to obtain from a man that I can’t truly give to him,” Linza said.
The workshop series is held on Saturday mornings alongside the Men's Ministry of the Blended Church in Indianapolis. It is geared towards boys ages 12-18.
“We’re teaching young men all types of life skills such as learning how to fish and BBQ, automotive maintenance, self-respect, respect for others … just a lot of different life skills,” Brown said.
Single Parent Connection also offers a single parent continuing education scholarship, toiletry assistance, a community resource fair and smart money management courses among other things.
“They come alongside of you, every step of the way,” Linza said.
The hope is for Single Parent Connection, Inc. to continue to grow and soon secure a physical location in order to expand offerings.
The waitlist is still open for those interested in the Boys to Men program. It runs through the end of July.
Single Parent Connection is also hosting a “Community Resource Fair and Back to School Event” July 23. More information is available here.