Warren County woman helps single mothers survive and thrive

Krista Mainess

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Krista Mainess

A single utility bill might be all that stands between a single mom and homelessness, Krista Mainess said.

Mainess wants to bridge the gaps and help single mothers and their families not only survive but thrive through Helping Our Families, the organization she co-founded in 2018.

The nonprofit aims to open a home that would support several single moms and their children for up to two years, providing emotional and psychological support, job training and help toward making healthy choices. While the capital campaign for the first house continues, Helping Our Families is supporting moms and children in other ways, from paying a bill to delivering holiday groceries.

“We want single moms to understand that it’s the whole family we’re trying to support,” said Mainess, 55, of Waynesville, who also is a consultant for Korn Ferry. Her husband, Ron, co-founded Helping Our Families and serves as its chief operating officer.

The group’s services include an after-school learning lab that offers tutoring and homework assistance, and last Christmas an adopt-a-family program provided gifts for 156 children in 66 families and gave donors the chance to deliver the presents and connect with the recipient. The group also acts as a liaison when mothers need other forms of help.

H. Jean Wright II, who is chairman of the organization’s board of directors said Mainess is the type of person who does the right thing even when no one is looking, and with a humble heart, said Wright, who is from Germantown and now lives in Philadelphia.

“Krista has always put others’ needs ahead of her own,” he said.

Mainess said that 40 percent of single-mother households live in poverty in Ohio, and that number continues to grow. She wants these moms to heal, break the cycle and show their children a different model.

“If we’re bringing up broken children, then our society is going to be broken,” she said.

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