You may find yourself in a position where you are a single parent. While this situation comes with its own challenges and trials. There are a lot of different resources available to single parents to help you be the best parent you can be.
Look to Your Personal Support System
When you are a single mom, it is important to have a reliable support system. Remember that even though you are a single mom, you don’t have to do this completely by yourself. It is okay to ask your friends and family for help, advice, support or even comfort whether that be with childcare, transportation, employment or even finances. Surround yourself with people who can guide you and support you along the way.
Turn to Community Organizations
Your community wants to help you. Local churches, charitable organizations, and other community resources often offer temporary assistance or partner with other resources in the area to help individuals. Some resources specifically help single mothers or women who are pregnant and can offer specialized assistance to you while you are preparing for and raising your child.
Your First Step: Apply for Child Support
Whether or not you want support from the child’s father or think he will be financially capable of contributing, it is necessary to file for child support before you are eligible for any other government-funded assistance programs. If you are interested in applying for things like Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Federal Housing Programs, or any other government assistance program, you must have previously filed for child support.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC is a supplemental nutritional program that supports women who are currently pregnant, nursing, or raising children under the age of five. WIC is available to low-income women and children who are at risk for poor nutrition. This supplements people’s ability to purchase food and allows them the means to make healthier and more nutritious choices when shopping for their family.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Previously known as welfare, TANF allows states to administer their own assistance programs for families in need. TANF requires recipients to participate in work activities to receive benefits.
Federal Housing Programs
There are several different housing programs available to single moms and their families. Depending on your situation and your current income level, one program may suit your needs better than another.
Some programs subsidize your housing cost or offer Section 8 vouchers to help renters reduce the out-of-pocket cost of housing. These programs offer more freedom to the renters to choose where they would like to live but do not cover the entire cost of housing.
Starting in 2000, the Federal Communications commission reserved 2-1-1 for community information and referral services. If you call 2-1-1 and explain your situation, the operator can provide you with a list of resources available in your community. They can offer access to services such as:
- Basic Human Needs Resources (food, clothing, shelters, and housing)
- Mental Health and Health Resources
- Employment Support
- Children, Youth and Family Support (childcare, after school programs, family resource centers, and mentoring programs)
If you are a single mom, there are an abundance of resources available to you to enhance your ability to provide for your child or children. You are strong and are doing an incredible job, but you do not have to provide for your family alone.