A guide to single parenting, scholarships, government grants, and finance

Our site on financial help for single mothers

Welcome to our Free resource on the topic of financial help for single mothers. We have posted this page to let you know what this site is all about. As you might have already figured out, we mainly provide free information related to how single mothers can get financial help from the government and by other means. Being single means that a world of responsibilities, to say the least, is going to rest on your shoulder. Times could be hard as you try to face the challenges one day at a time. They could get harder if financial hurdles, particularly debt, stand on your way, but trust us when we say there is a lot of help out there for single parents which can considerably lessen the burden. And there is absolutely no need for paying a fee to anyone in order to find out what kind of government grants for single mothers are available. We point the needy families to trusted resources listing such information. In addition to providing referrals to important resources, we also keep an eye on current issues facing single moms, and speak our mind on the same. And this is not all helpforsinglemother.net has to offer. With inputs from single mothers and authors who have had plenty of experience with single parenting, sorting out the finances, living with one income and dealing with overwhelming situations after divorce, we aim to provide informative and helpful articles pertaining to parenting, finance and relationships. We hope you enjoy your stay here.

Why paying for information related to government grants is a bad idea:

You can easily find information related to grants for single moms, or any other financial assistance for that matter, if you just research a little bit in the Internet. Sites exist where e-books are sold that claim it consists of information related to thousands of grant opportunities. Maybe it indeed provides that information, but finding such grants can easily be done through the government websites. You can also visit the department of human services and know financial assistance programs you can get approved for.

Get a long list of grants that you can apply for in our article here – Grants for single moms

Scholarships for single moms? Are they really available?

There are a few scholarships that cater to single parents who are trying to go back to school. Finding them is not hard but the truth of the matter is your search for aid must not stop as long as you are in college. New aid opportunities spring up every now and then in the form of grants and scholarships. If you do not keep abreast of new aid information, you are bound to miss out on a ton of free money you could have qualified for.

Tip: Sign up for the scholarship database web sites which e-mail you new offers as and when they become available.

Housing, food, and other forms of assistance from federal and state government:

Besides the government grants, scholarships, and information on cash assistance, our site also contains articles discussing housing assistance, utility bill assistance and food assistance in your state. Here are a few articles that could help you get started:

1. Read this article to know how single moms can get living assistance – Living assistance for low income families

2. Is the monthly housing rent unaffordable? Know about rental assistance in your state

3. Would you like referrals to local assistance? Read article on popular resources for single parents

A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

There comes a time when nearly all of us need a helping hand. The first thing to do is to feel no shame in asking for help if you need it. The federal government and the states cooperate in a program designed to help families in certain situations. Generally each household must include a child under 18 and be living within certain income guidelines. This is a guide to help you apply for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Keep in mind that there are probably other services and programs available, depending on where you live. Be sure to ask your caseworker or call the local United Way.

  • The first thing to do is contact your local Department of Social Services. It might be called something else where you live. Look in the Yellow Pages or call the United Way. Find out if you need an appointment and if so make one.
  • You have the have the right to apply for TANF. But if you believe you have been unfairly denied an application you have the right to an appeal and should ask for one.
  • If you need help filling out the application, tell your caseworker and he/she is required to help you.
  • When you go to your appointment, take all the documentation the agency may require. You should try to find this out beforehand. It will likely include Social Security cards for everybody in the household, birth certificates, pay stubs, tax information, child-support and alimony payment records, residency information such as a lease and sometimes certain medical records. Your caseworker can advise you of what else is needed and can possibly assist you if you need help.
  • If you are disabled or have a transportation issue, your application interview can be conducted over the phone.
  • During the interview, it’s important to answer the questions honestly and completely. Doing otherwise can have a serious impact on your eligibility and can even lead to charges of fraud. Be sure to tell the caseworker of any crisis you are experiencing. Things like the threat of eviction or homelessness, you or your children being a victim of abuse or neglect, lack of food or being unable to pay your energy bills are all important because there may be some emergency types of assistance available.
  • The caseworker will give you instructions on what will happen next. If you are in a crisis situation, they may offer immediate assistance. Otherwise you will be informed of your approval or not for TANF.
  • If you are not approved, you have the right to appeal their decision to a hearing. You will then be notified of when and where that hearing will be held. Tell the caseworker if this is going to be problematic for you and why.
  • If you are approved, you will receive a notification by mail that explains what your benefits and responsibilities are. You will also likely be asked to come to the office for further interviews and orientation to the program.

Again, depending on where you are living, being approved for TANF will mean different things. Usually you will receive a Electronic benefits transfer [EBT] card [which works just like a debit card] that combines a monthly fund and food stamps. It may also be used for transportation, school costs, housing and utility costs or other assistance. For those who are eligible, medical assistance (such as Medicaid) cards will be mailed to you as well.

Some other things to expect include:

  • Information about what you are to report and when. Your caseworker is going to want to know if your income or expenses change, if somebody has moved out of the home, if you have received any other money for assistance, if your place of residence changes and other information relative to your eligibility.
  • You will be required to get a job or go to school to train for a job to receive benefits. Your caseworker can advise you on this and help in finding work or a suitable training program. Transportation and child-care assistance and possibly other supportive services will be provided if needed.
  • If the parent is not living in the home, the absent parent will be required to pay child-support to offset some of the costs of the services. If necessary, proof of paternity may be required.
  • Federal rules set a five-year lifetime limit for an individual to receive TANF benefits. It allows states to make that limit less than five years and many do.
  • You will be required to look for a job and accept any job you are offered. You are then expected to not quit that job without a good reason.

Some tips and some dos and don’ts:

  • It’s always best to be prompt in making your appointments and accurate with your answers and information.
  • Don’t take your frustrations and worries out on your caseworker or others in the program.  Keep in mind they are human and are there to help you.  They may make mistakes, seem impatient or even seem to not care. But none of that matters if they do their job and you do what the program requires.
  • That doesn’t mean that you are required to tolerate abusive or unfair treatment from anybody involved with the program. If you believe this is happening to you then report it to their supervisor.
  • Be patient. Unless it meets the guidelines of some emergency program where funds are available, it can take up to 45 days to determine your eligibility and longer for your TANF benefits to start.

TANF is designed to be a short-term program, usually less than five years. The purpose of the program is to make work your ultimate solution. Jobs are getting harder and harder to find. Take full advantage of the program for what it’s intended.  If used properly, TANF can help you get your feet on the ground, and that’s all you are asking, right?

Getting free baby stuff – clothes, supplies, diapers, cribs, etc.

While there are a lot of sites online which request submission of your e-mail claiming to send you samples and coupons, many do not do that. It is better to steer clear of such sites but at the same time, there are plenty of real ways to get free samples. For single moms with babies, a couple of resources can be of huge help when it comes to getting free baby stuff. Here is where you can get help:

1. Online is not the only way to go!:

Instead of trying online and falling for the scams, find the 800 numbers on all the baby packages you can find and call them up to add yourself to their mailing list. A lot of moms find this to be one of the easiest ways to receive the samples and coupons right at their doorstep from the companies. As an alternative to phone calls, you can go to the baby item manufacturers’ official sites and submit your e-mail id and residential address to get offers. Last but definitely not the least, do not forget that the baby magazines are a great source of coupons, deals, and excellent offers.

2. Heart Beat pregnancy center:

This non-profit organization provides a needy parent baby supplies and parenting lessons, among others. If you want to learn how else you can get benefited through their programs, visit their official site here – services

3. Affording a crib:

When affording a crib gets tough, look into joining a freecycle group in order to get a free and used but safe crib from people in your neighborhood. Start by registering here – link. In case you want to go for an affordable new crib that also fits your pocket, you can begin your search at walmart where cribs are available for as low as less than 100 dollars. Start here right away – buy.

In addition to all these, keeping an eye on craigslist’s free section is recommended for anyone looking for donations. People who want to give away their old furniture, toddler car seats, appliances and many other stuff usually advertise in the free section of your area. For instance, here is the link for people in houston:zip. And if you do not find a listing that you wish to see even after waiting for weeks, do not fear advertising in the site by yourself requesting things that you need the most.

4. Planningfamily:

Planningfamily.com is another web site that has garnered excellent reputation for having given plenty of samples and coupons to moms. In addition to getting help with diapers and formula samples, you could also receive baby magazines in the mail.

Getting free clothes for yourself and for the children:

Thrift stores and garage sales can be excellent sources of cheapest clothes for your family. And in case you are not in a position to afford them right now, getting help from the local church is your best bet to get free clothing. Needless to say, posting ‘Wanted’ advertisements in freecycle and craigslist is again a good option for those needing clothes. Besides all these choices, letting your family and friends know that you are open to the hand-me-downs can go a long way towards getting assistance with whatever you need.

Help with starting a business – funding, mentoring and training

There are many organizations in the United States that help people who want to quit the rat race and become an entrepreneur. More importantly, there are a lot of organizations and programs for economically disadvantaged women who are trying to wrap their head around entrepreneurship. Let’s face it. Becoming an entrepreneur by yourself with no financial aid from the outside when you are a single mother and have to juggle multiple facets of life every day is no easy task. This is all the more reason to make the most of whatever programs are out there that are tailored to women. Maybe your dream of getting a grant might never see the light of day, considering the limited opportunities, but with all other aspects of entrepreneurship, rest assured that there is an organization out there which will walk you through all the phases and nuances.

1. It is well known that small business administration provides easy access to loans for people who would otherwise have had a hard time in getting one approved through the private lenders. The problem is that the very thought of getting yourself into debt while chasing your dreams might seem like an overly risky move and this causes a lot of women to torch their entrepreneurship ideas, and go back to a day job,

But did you know that the SBA also provide grants to private non-profit organizations that help the women start and establish a business? Although no federal government business grants are available as of now for women aiming to become employers, you can get assistance from the Women’s business centers that participate in the SBA’s WBC program and get aid with finance and management for your small business. Want to get started right away? Choose a nearest center using this directory here – location,

2. The funding opportunities in the form of grants for women business owners are very limited. But on the bright side, if you are running round in circles trying to get a loan or perfecting your business plan, there is a ton of support out there. Besides the WBCs that we mentioned earlier, getting small business advice from the business owners has become as simple as it gets due to the availability of “SCORE”. Getting help from a friend of a family member as to how to go about becoming a business owner is one thing while getting mentoring from the established and successful entrepreneurs in your area is another thing. And this is exactly what you can receive from SCORE, no matter how crude your ideas are right now. If you do not feel like going to their nearest office and receive mentoring, you can do it online, too. Get more information over here: mentors

3. Do keep in mind that you cannot expect grant amount in the range of 5000 to 10000 USD but at the same time, getting hold of a couple of small grants can add up to a pretty significant amount as well. Of course, that would mean you will have to spend a lot of time preparing the application and perusing websites that assist in writing the perfect grant proposal. But it will be worth it if you end up getting even a few thousand dollars in grant money which can be a great motivation and impetus to get your business started, not to mention being devoid of worries about entangling yourself in debt.

Here is one grant that can get you 500 to 1000 USD to launch your small business:

The “peaChic grant” – Whether you are looking to expand your reach or just trying to launch your business, this grant opportunity is open for you if you are a woman, or if your SB is women-focused. You can apply for this right away by filling out this form – click here

Food assistance for moms:

If you are receiving food benefits through the SNAP [formerly called as the “food stamps”], your children are certainly eligible to get free or reduced price school meals from their schools. Even if you were not able to become eligible for the welfare programs due to not meeting the set income or the asset requirements, make sure to contact the school, mention your financial need and see if you can apply for the same. In addition to these programs for the children and single moms, when you feel like affording nutritious food is no more easy, food pantries can be of huge help. If you are not aware of the local food pantry locations, all you need to do is contact the local church and they might be able to give out pointers. The other option is to contact a food bank, local United Way office, or call 211 which in turn will connect you to the agency you are looking for. Feeding America has a list of all the food banks in every state here – link

Getting toys for the kids during Christmas:

1. Despite how bad you want to get your kid a cute toy, toughest times in your life as a single parent can make them unaffordable. But the children can still be delighted with the toys, thanks to the Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” Foundation. Most of you readers might already know the procedure but for others who are unaware, all you need to do is visit their official site here [link], click on ‘request toys’, pick your location and you will be redirected to their local website wherein you will be able to request a toy by sending an e-mail to the coordinator. Needless to say, checking out the local freecycle group, or requesting on craigslist, are great choices at times of need as well,

2. The Salvation Army has a Christmas charity that helps needy families get free clothing and toys just before the occasion. Call your local Salvation Army center and register with them. In case you are not able to get any free toys despite the attempts, going for an affordable toy from the Goodwill or even making your own toy can be a real good alternative. Look up “DIY toys for kids” in the Internet for ideas and more resources,

3. If you live in the Essex County or in the West Hudson, apply for the free toys through the United Way’s Toy Drive. In addition to the donations directly made to United Way by generous individuals and organizations, donators can also adopt families after getting their pertinent information, and provide gifts directly to them. Get more details here – UW

4. Family Giving Tree is a gift and backpack donation program that strives to fulfill the holiday wishes of children. In order to register, contact one of the social services agencies or the schools that are recipients of this program. You can find a long list over here – agencies. To know more about how this works, visit this resource – page

Getting free cars and vehicles from the charities

Not possessing a vehicle has kept many a family away from a better financial position. Not getting a job or keeping a job because of the transportation issues need not trouble you anymore, for here are a few charities that can help a single mother get a free car:

CHARITY CARS, INC – This is a non-profit organization providing free vehicles to individuals who feel that not owning a vehicle is standing right in their way of becoming self-sufficient. But as you can imagine, the number of requests that they get every month is going to far exceed the number of donated cars, and this is exactly why being very patient after applying is real important. The applicants must demonstrate their willingness to reach self-sufficiency during the application process. If you have been on welfare programs for a few months and have a hard time securing employment or keeping a job due to the transportation problems, you have greater chances of getting assisted by the CHARITY CARS, INC. You can apply here – freecharitycars.org

“Wheels to work” of Goodwill Industries:

There is a lot of help out there for moms who are striving to reach financial independence but are not able to do so no matter how hard they try. In addition to the aforementioned charity, vehicle donations are also made to Goodwill which are then given away to individuals in need of most affordable plus good condition cars. A few Goodwill centers might also require a referral from the local DHS office in your area before they can approve your application. Contact your nearest Goodwill center to know more about the same – local centers

The very purpose of welfare is to give a hand to people who have fallen down:

You could easily notice a lot of negative comments hurled at people who are getting welfare while they are trying to get back on the track. An undeniable truth is that a few are even refraining from applying for the government assistance while they most need it just because of fearing the looks that they might get from people noticing they are welfare recipients. If the very idea of getting on welfare has been bothering you, keep in mind that all the criticism is aimed at people who are abusing the welfare system, and not at those using it. Temporary assistance program is available for a purpose, and as long as you are working on attaining self-sufficiency, do not let anybody’s words or looks deter you from getting financial help.

Support from “The Women’s Alliance” for getting interview attire and a job

Nobody can play down the importance of a professional attire while you attend job interviews. After all, first impressions matter a lot. But the truth of the matter is that a lot of low income individuals might not have a decent attire that could create an impression on the potential employer. If such is the case with you, rest assured that you can get support from one of the members of “Women’s Alliance”. In addition to a formal attire for the interviews, training is also offered which no doubt can go a long way towards helping you find employment as well as keeping a job. You can get started by finding a member organization near you and calling them – location links

Other helpful links and organizations:

1. Emergency shelters for women affected by domestic violence: wssdv.org

2. Shelter, Job skills training, and career counseling: ywca.org

3. Business financing for New Yorkers – projectenterprise.org

4. pre-kindergarten through 12th grade scholarships for African American children – blackstudentfund.org

5. Tuition assistance for sending your children to private schools – scholarshipfund.org

6. A list of dental schools for getting low-cost dental care – list

7. For women who are about to become homeless – link

8. Prevent eviction by getting a grant for the rent – coalition

9. Free computer learning, tutoring service, and more for your kids – childrensinstitute.org

10. Scholarships for Latino students – hsf.net

11. Get help with paying for prescription medications – Americares

12. Rent textbooks for college [useful for moms striving to go back to school] – chegg.com

13. Gasoline grant assistance – freegasusa.org

Our Mission:

Helpforsinglemother.net strives to help the single mothers in every possible way. We keep ourselves abreast of all the financial assistance changes and newly introduced programs for single mothers. Getting financial help for single mothers takes time and filling out paperwork, but knowing what kind of aid is available out there for moms does not have to take strenuous efforts on your part, for we are here to act as a gateway to all such information.

Support from “The Women’s Alliance” for getting interview attire and a job

Nobody can play down the importance of a professional attire while you attend the job interviews. After all, first impressions matter a lot, don’t they? But the truth of the matter is that a lot of low income individuals do not have a good enough attire that is capable of making an impression on the employers. If this is the case with you, rest assured that you can get support from one of the members of “Women’s Alliance”. In addition to a formal attire for the interviews, training is also offered that can go a long way towards getting employed as well as keeping a job. You can get started by finding a member organization near you and calling them – location links

Other notable, helpful links and organizations:

1.Emergency shelters for women affected by domestic violence: wssdv.org

2.Shelter, Job skills training and career counseling: ywca.org

3.Business financing for New Yorkers – projectenterprise.org

4.pre-kindergarten through 12th grade scholarships for African American children – blackstudentfund.org

5.Tuition assistance for sending your children to private schools – scholarshipfund.org

6.A list of dental schools for getting low cost dental care – list

7.For women who are about to become homeless – link

8.Prevent eviction by getting a grant for the rent – coalition

9.Free computer learning, tutoring service and more for your kids – childrensinstitute.org

10.Scholarships for Latino students – hsf.net

11.Get help with paying for prescription medications – Americares

12.Rent textbooks for college [useful for moms striving to go back to school] – chegg.com

13.Gasoline grant assistance – freegasusa.org