Single Mom Overcomes Financial Hardships with Community Action Duluth

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: January 16, 2020 06:59 PM

Some families live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get themselves in a better place financially. Community Action Duluth has been helping people for years with that by offering valuable resources and tools to get them there. Like 29-year-old Tiara Franklin, a single mother who's been able to overcome her obstacles thanks to help from Community Action.


"You just have to keep moving forward. Keep moving forward, don't give up," said Franklin.

Franklin is originally from Minneapolis, but moved to Duluth three years ago. She has three beautiful kids she provides for that motivate her everyday.

She works full-time job at an auto shop but struggles financially to make ends meet as a single mom. Added stress from debt made things even more challenging.

"Not too long ago I actually got served with papers from a credit card that I owed. So that to me was like, alright, it's serious," said Franklin.

Feeling overwhelmed and desperate for help, she went to Community Action Duluth.

"We kind of did some investigating together and researched and she left feeling more confident to approach one of the debts she was particularly stressed about," said Randi Omdahl, a financial education and employment coach with Community Action Duluth.

Community Action helps people in need of financial, employment and educational coaching. They offer things like resources and even childcare to help people like Tiara overcome their financial hardships and climb out of poverty.

"We kind of came up with some action goals. She just started tackling the tasks, one after another. I was really impressed with the pace that she was going at and she was very motivated," said Omdahl.

Tiara was able to pay off a lot of her debt and her credit score improved. She's working on tackling other old debts, decreasing spending by tracking her purchases, rehabbing her student loans and building an emergency savings fund.

"It's just nice to see that relief that they took that first step. That first step can be the hardest, but once they get going, it really just snowballs like in Tiara's case," said Omdahl.

Last year, 2,000 residents were served through the programming Community Action Duluth offers.

Tiara said shes felt a support system through them.

"Coming from a single mother perspective, where I don't have much support financially, you have to find tools and resources. There's going to be days, months, years where it's going to be really hard," said Franklin.

Now, Tiara is working hard to tackle her long term goals.

"I am on assistance, section eight cash food stamps. My goal is to not be two years from now," said Franklin. "My goal is to have my own home, where I'm comfortable. I do it for my kids, they deserve it."


Alejandra Palacios

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