New Brunswick

Moncton's Support to Single Parents Inc. to close in June

An organization in Moncton that assists single parents will close its doors at the end of June when its founder retires.

Programs will still be offered by others, says retiring executive director Nancy Hartling

Nancy Hartling is retiring as executive director of Support to Single Parents Inc. in Moncton at the end of June. She founded the organization 34 years ago. The agency will close its doors when she retires, but its many of its programs will continue to be offered by others. (CBC)

An organization in Moncton that assists single parents will close its doors at the end of June when its founder retires.

But Nancy Hartling says many of the programs Support to Single Parents Inc. offers — and has developed during its 34 years — will continue to be offered by others.

Hartling said the decision to retire and shut down the office was not an easy one.

"It's taken me two years to come to this, and I guess the main reason is to make sure the legacy of the programs could continue in some form," she told Information Morning Moncton.

But, she also admitted there was simply no money to hire a new director.

"The resources are lacking and not as fluid as they could be so in order to hire someone else and continue, that was going to be very difficult," said Hartling.

Hartling said some of the agency's former staff and facilitators will take over the individual programs and she said the Support to Single Parents website will remain active for a year to guide people to those individual programs.

She also said the United Way will take over the very popular Soup Fest, an annual February fundraiser that's been going on for more than a decade.

"By making difficult decisions and finding solutions that will ensure continuity for the agency, Nancy's leadership has demonstrated how resourceful and creative she can be in finding ways in which the agency's programs and services continue in a different but effective way," stated Claudette Murray, the president of the board of directors of the organization, in a news release.

Three decades of success stories

In the 1980s, Hartling realized a lot of single mothers often didn't have family support or an education as a backup plan, and after visiting a school for single mothers in Alberta, the idea for Support to Single Parents was born.

The agency opened in 1982, and after more than three decades many are sad at the news, said Hartling.

But she added that good things come out of change.

"I want to be positive about this," said Hartling.

"We have a great community and I'm so thankful and blessed to have done this work,"

When asked about success stories, Hartling gave two examples.

She said a woman on the agency's board, whose mother was a client when she was growing up, experienced first hand some of the challenges of a single parent family, yet has grown up to have a good job and is now giving back to the organization.

What they needed was support and encouragement.- Nancy Hartling, executive director of Support to Single Parents

And a single father and former client continues to help the organization with its books, despite moving to Fredericton.

"What they needed was support and encouragement," Hartling said of these success stories and of the many people Support to Single Parents has helped.

"We don't hear the positive stories enough." 

Hartling plans to be around to mentor others, as well as to become involved in other projects around the city.

"Our community has a lot of needs and they're all very viable," she said.

Before it closes its doors for good, Support to Single Parents will host a community celebration to acknowledge the achievements of the organization on June 14 at Legend's restaurant in Moncton.

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