Single moms struggle with housing, childcare, employment in pandemic

Alisha Carter and her five daughters were homeless while she continued working as a mail carrier. They now have a home. Angel Marino, a mother of three, has also been working through the pandemic.
8:26 | 02/19/21

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Transcript for Single moms struggle with housing, childcare, employment in pandemic
CI a Carter dreams of. Because right now, this mail carrier doesn't even have one. I was so shocked to find out you were a mail carrier. Yeah. And you're homeless. What do you want people to know about that? To have a job, a good job at that, and then still be homeless, it's like, what am I doing wrong? Reporter: Just keep working, not giving up. From Alicia's mouth to god's ears. Alicia, why didn't you want to tell anybody at the post office that you were homeless? I'm more independent. I really don't like -- more like there are more than 13 million single parents in the U.S. 80% are single moms. A lot of the clients are calling this recession a she-cession, it's averaging women much more than men. Reporter: This pandemic has ravaged poverty-stricken cities like Baltimore, hitting people of color, particularly black single moms, the hardest. Women of color are more likely to be holding an in-person job, especially in the service sector, that's been hit more severely by covid-19. I bristle at the idea that people say women are opting out of the labor market. They're not opting out, they're being pushed out. Reporter: Alicia lost her job when the pandemic hit. Then the family lost their rental house. This hotel became their home. Then when the money ran out -- You all lived in the car together? We were all in one seat, she was in the middle. How did you survive that? I really -- it hurt me more than them. As long as they were together, they were happy. Reporter: For single mother angel Marino, a certified medical assistant in Detroit, she had no choice but to keep reporting to her job at a hospital. I can't afford not to work. Reporter: We've been following her story since the pandemic began. In December, she talked with my colleague, Rebecca Jarvis. How have you been managing all of this? Oh my goodness. It's just been very difficult since the pandemic began in thank god I have a team, people I work with, my manager, my supervisor. They are very resourceful. Reporter: Even before the pandemic, finances were tight for angel and her three children, ages 10, 7, and 6. She never wants them to be homeless like she was as a child, after her mother died. And I want my kids to have stability. Reporter: Child care has been one of her biggest problems to solve. In the spring her children were in a free day care for essential workers, a lifeline funded for a time by philanthropies. Child care is not a family issue, it's a business issue. Child care is a piece of critical infrastructure, like roads and bridges that help working parents get to work. It's especially important that we get single moms back into the workforce, because you can't work an in-person job if you don't have child care. Reporter: Her children finally entered an in-person learning pod at their school. But it had to close in December. Covid cases spiked again. The choice of work and kids shouldn't be a choice. I shouldn't have to -- I want to be the best mom I can be. Reporter: But angel has a hard-won resilience. We can do it, though. I was born for this. I was born to cross mountains. Reporter: Two months later, angel proved that was true. If there's a mountain, I'm going to get over it. Speak positivity. Reporter: Angel not only held on to her job, she even got a raise. But the trickiest part, her kids. Luckily, she found a remote school program at the local "Y." I think they'll be proud of me. When we all look back on this in the future, like mom, we've been through a lot together. My kids are resilient. Reporter: The "Y" combined with the program at their school reopening has been a vital lifeline for single working moms like angel. I'm optimistic. I will tell all the single moms out there, don't be afraid. Don't live in fear. Take one day at a time. There are very tangible things you can do right now to keep women in the labor force, keep single moms afloat with their families. Because we know this is temporary. It just blows my mind right now that we have a very solvable problem in front of us and just lack of political will to address it. Reporter: For Alicia Carter and her daughters, left living in that car, the road to success was humbling. We were wearing each other's shoes and clothes. Wear the same clothes. We had to -- I don't know, it was just -- it was a lot. Had to go through school and have friends be like, oh, if you ever need anything. But you didn't want to say anything because you didn't want them to make fun of you or -- I don't know. Reporter: But her classmates didn't make fun of her, they rallied around her. Eventually, Alicia told a friend about her situation, and that friend found a safe haven located in the midst of Baltimore's toughest neighborhoods, Sarah's hope. A shelter known for helping single mothers. Got to spend a lot of quality time together, get to learn each other better. Emotionally, physically, mentally. What's your favorite thing about your mom? She's always there for us. Reporter: Family and fortitude. Things money just can't buy. A resilience that resonated with Linda Wilson. You're the one rides up all the time? On my gosh. Reporter: Remember that neighbor we met on Alicia's route? When I was 20, I was a lost childlike many of us. Reporter: Linda too was once homeless, but helped by a total stranger. Now she's paying it forward. Just to help you and your Thank you, oh my god. I've been there. We can grab joy anywhere we can. You go through a struggle together with your family, it makes you stronger. Happy birthday! Every dark place always has a light or something that just brings light to you. Don't underestimate yourself. Reporter: Proving that sometimes struggles can be serendipitous. Alicia used her time in the shelter to job hunt. Landing her position with the postal service in September. By the end of the year, she was ready to say good-bye to 2020. And able to deliver her family a post Christmas present. Welcome to the Carter family's new home, made possible with assistance from the shelter. So what is next for this beautiful family? Happy times. Home-cooked meals. More tacos. More tacos, I want to come over. Reporter: The whole family now savoring the sweet sounds of that spiritual promise. My life when you come to my

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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