Having just become a new dad I’m starting to appreciate the workload that comes with being a parent. I could only imagine the extra workload that comes with being a single mother or father. Add on top of that some financial concerns and all of a sudden being a new parent can become incredibly stressful. That’s why this post is dedicated to finding financial help for single mothers and fathers. I hope you find this post helpful.
Financial Help For Single Mothers & Fathers:
1. Government Help For Single Mothers & Fathers:
Help Paying Rent:
There are plenty of organizations that will provide rent assistance or financial help for single mothers. Check out our post Organizations That Help With Rent for more info on these organizations. Being a single parent means that you’ll probably have an easier time qualifying for assistance.
Help Paying Bills:
Financial help for single mothers and fathers can also come in the form of help with monthly bills. There are a few programs that help with heating, phone and internet bills. For more info check out our Help Paying Bills post.
Child Care Costs:
The federal Office of Child Care provides subsidized child care services in the form of certificates/grants/vouchers through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). Over 1.5 million children receive support through this fund every month! For more information contact your regional program manager.
The YWCA also provides early childcare programs for over 200,000 children annually. To find a program in your area find your local YWCA office here.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP (Food Stamps):
SNAP (formally called Food Stamps) is a federal program focused on providing nutritional assistance to low-income individuals and families. To qualify for SNAP you have to have less than $2,000 in “countable resources”. The definition of “countable resources” varies by state and may or may not include your primary vehicle. There is also a low income requirement that varies depending on household size. To see if you qualify you can use the SNAP screening tool from the USDA.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC):
This is a special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children under 5 years of age. WIC provides supplemental food as well as healthcare and nutrition training for mothers who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum. To see if you qualify for WIC you can use the WIC screening tool from the USDA but to get a final decision contact your local WIC agency. (Thanks Raquel from Practical Cents for pointing out this program that I missed!)
2. Financial Assistance For Single Mothers:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):
The TANF program provides limited cash assistance for basic needs like food, clothing, housing etc. To be eligible for TANF you must be pregnant or have a child below the age of 19. This assistance is limited to a lifetime maximum of 60 months (5 years). TANF also varies greatly by state, from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars per month. For more details contact your local Office of Family Assistance.
CoAbode is an interesting program that tries to help single mothers find shared housing arrangements to help reduce their financial burden. While they don’t provide financial help for single mothers directly CoAbode helps reduce housing costs and other costs that can be shared. The program works by matching families in each local area. For more details visit CoAbode.
3. Scholarships For Single Mothers:
The YWCA offers financial help for single mothers through their large number of local scholarships and leadership programs. To find these funds you need to visit your local YWCA office because most scholarships are locally administered.
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund:
Limited to women aged 35 or older this scholarship provides financial assistance if you meet their income criteria. For more details visit the Rankin Foundation website.
Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards:
The Live Your Dreams Award provides 1,200 women with $1.6M annually. This award is given at the local level so you need to apply to your local office. To see more details about the eligibility requirements and how to apply visit the Soroptimist website.
National Leased Housing Association (NLHA) Education Fund:
If you already receive low income housing assistance (Section 8) then you’ll be eligible for these scholarships from the NLHA. There are four scholarships to which you can apply. For details visit the HUD NHLA website.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarships:
Providing up to $5,000 this scholarship focuses specifically on low-income women with minor children. For more details visit the Patsy Mink Foundation website.
Capture the Dream Single Parent Scholarship:
Focused only on the San Francisco Bay Area this scholarship provides financial help for single mothers and fathers with an annual payment of $1,000 if you meet their criteria. For more details visit the Capture The Dream website.
4. Job Training For Single Mothers:
YWCA Job Training:
The YWCA provides a variety of job training programs. To find a program in your local area visit the YWCA website.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):
The TANF program also provides single moms with short term technical training and helps find on-the-job training programs. For more details contact your local Office of Family Assistance.
Hopefully you were able to find some useful services above. If you know of any additional services that can provide financial help for single mothers and fathers then please leave a comment below.
Do you know of any other services/groups that provide financial help for single mothers and fathers?
Photo by Floris Oosterveld via Flickr