For low-income single moms struggling to make ends meet, it can seem like there is nowhere to turn for help. Fortunately, there are programs out there to help ease some of your burden. Here is a list of financial assistance programs for single moms (and some for dads, too).
Comcast Internet Essentials
If you live within a Comcast service area and your child is eligible for free or reduced school lunches, you may be eligible for their $9.95 per month service called Internet Essentials. You’ll get basic high-speed Internet service, all the necessary equipment, and a waiver of the activation fee. Upon approval, you’ll receive a self-install kit with all the equipment and instructions. In order to qualify, you must live within a Comcast service area, have a child in the National School Lunch Program, have not subscribed to their Internet services within the past 90 days, nor have an overdue Comcast bill or any unreturned equipment. To apply, call 1-855-846-8376.
National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
Since 1946, these programs have been offering free and reduced cost school meals to children. Any child at a participating school is eligible to purchase a meal through the program, but how much it will cost depends on your household income. For example, children from families with income at or below 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. If your income is at or below 185%, your child’s lunch will cost no more than 30¢ or 40¢ for breakfast. To apply, contact the school directly.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Through grants from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, many low-income families are eligible to receive immediate assistance in paying their heating and/or cooling bills. Each state sets its own criteria as to who is eligible for assistance, and what type of energy bill it will subsidize. For detailed information on your state’s program, click here.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC provides supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, nutrition education, and breastfeeding promotion and support to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. To determine your eligibility, you can use this pre-screening tool. To find out if you are eligible, you can go directly to your state’s WIC information page, or check to see if you may be eligible by using the USDA’s prescreening tool.
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Scholarships & Grants
If you are interested in starting or returning to college, there are various scholarships available to help you cover expenses. Unfortunately, there is no centralized depository of information, so you will have to do a bit of research to find out what is available to you. Here are a few links to get you started:
- U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid
- EducationGrant.com Single Mom Scholarships
- EducationGrant.com Single Mom Grants
- U.S. Department of Education’s Education Resource Organizations Directory
- Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards
- Women’s Independence Scholarship Program
Neighborhood Stabilization Program
If you thought you couldn’t afford to purchase a home for your family, you might want to reconsider. While this program was originally intended to keep neighborhoods intact, the end result is that it offers some pretty hefty incentives to potential homebuyers. Down payment assistance and enhanced mortgage terms are among some of the perks. You must apply to purchase one of the program’s listed homes, but don’t let that scare you away. A close friend of mine recently closed on a house she obtained through this program. She and her son now live in a beautiful 3-bedroom home with a pool, in a nice neighborhood, near a school and the library, and are paying about $400 less than they were when they were renting. If this sounds good to you, contact your local agency to find out if you qualify.