Ohio can be a really good state to call home: The fabulous countryside, the Great Lake Erie, good education systems and a vibrant culture. There’s a lot to be said for the state, and there are hundreds of activities and entertainments to enjoy. But, single moms all too often don’t have the money spare to enjoy the best things about Ohio. Single moms have too much to do and too much to worry about…like how to pay for childcare, how to find the money to put good food on the table and how to finance their children’s education.
It can seem like you are never going to be able to make the most of Ohio, if you are a single mom struggling on a low budget, but stop worrying. All you have to do is read on to find out how Ohio has the plans in place to help you to pay those bills and get a better life.
The name TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It can help you, if you are eligible, with various areas of your life and make it better, so check it out now. Note that TANF can only be allocated to any one person for up to 60 months, so use the allocation wisely.
It is also possible that you have been thinking about taking out a Payday Loan. These are short term loans that can help you to get through to the end of the month to pay the bills that arrive before your pay check, but proceed with caution. They can have very high interest rates and can be a real problem if for any reason you can’t pay them back in time. It’s better by far to try to find a grant if you can, as that won’t have to be repaid! However, if you can’t obtain a grant, only take out a loan from a reputable source like an established bank, and check the terms and conditions very carefully.
Assistance with food
Proper nutrition is vital for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding…and also if you are running around after young children and trying to hold down a job as you will be burning lots of energy! It is also essential that your kids have access to enough fresh, healthy food and the right nutrients to build strong, healthy bodies. The problem is that the best foods tend to be at premium prices…which you can’t always afford.
If you live in the state of Ohio, this is what to do if you need help with nutrition for your family. The Ohio Food Assistance Program, or SNAP as it is federally known, will issue you with an electronic card if you are eligible for aid. You can then use this card in certain grocery stores across the state in payment or part payment for food, or even for seeds to help you grow your own fresh veggies!
If you have kids under the age of 5, or if you are breastfeeding, post partum or pregnant, you should also be able to obtain help through the Ohio WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it here:
Ohio also offers a Food Banks scheme, through the Feeding America program. Donated foods are allocated to needy people, and there are several outlets across the state where you can collect. Check it out here:
Assistance with childcare
If you are a single mom, chances are that you are already taking on more than your fair share of work…you have to raise the kids, do the shopping, do the housework and go out to work yourself to bring in the money to survive. On top of all that, you have to find a reliable person or group to take care of the kids while you go out to work. It isn’t simple, and even harder is finding the cash to pay for the child care. The state of Ohio may be able to help you. Have a look at the Department of Job and Family Services website linked here to see if you can obtain help with childcare costs.
If you can’t meet the eligibility criteria for the above program, there are still things you can do. Look about your community: Churches or other religious groups sometimes offer child care for the children of their members, while there may also be other community groups in your neighborhood that can help. Is it possible that your employer might offer subsidies towards child care for his employees’ children? Perhaps there is a crèche in the town that has assisted places for single moms’ children?
If you are still struggling to find affordable childcare, why not see if you can get together with other single parents and set up your own group? You can share the childcare if you work different shifts, or pay a little each to one mom to stay home and look after all the kids.
Assistance with healthcare
While you are working your way through the list of things you can’t afford, healthcare is likely to be somewhere pretty high up on it! Healthcare policies can cost a lot of money, often far too much for a single mom to contemplate. Kids and moms need access to regular healthcare for routine appointments, and also for accidents and illnesses which do crop up from time to time even in the most careful of families.
So, if you need help getting affordable healthcare, try to see if you qualify for Medicaid. It’s a very well known program of healthcare for people on low incomes, and Ohio’s Medicaid program is accessed on this link:
There are special programs for moms with young kids, like this one:
Look too at the Women’s Brest and Cervical Cancer Project if you are affected in any way by these conditions.
Assistance with housing
Housing is all too often yet another headache for single moms. Good housing is either hard to find or costs too much…but there are ways to get help to make sure that you and your children have a warm, safe environment to live in. Go to the website of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to see what they can do for you.
Once you have a home, you are well on the way to a better life. But, you may still be worrying about how to pay those utility bills, as they sure can rack up if the weather is very cold or very hot. LIHEAP can help take the strain:
Assistance with education
Education is the key to a better job, better pay and a better future for both you and your kids. You can’t afford to go without an education, but once more, you have to find a way to pay for it. The good news is that there are literally hundreds of scholarships, grants and loans dedicated to helping find education.
Check out if you are eligible for FAFSA. FAFSA stands for ‘Free Application for Federal Student Aid’, and this is what you need to apply for to get started. The link below gives you information, lets you download the forms you need to apply and gives you the school codes for Ohio. Help is also available (if you need it) to fill in the forms correctly, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you are thinking about taking a professional course like nursing, find out if there is special funding to support you. Many of these professional courses carry special funding.
There are plenty of other ways of getting help with the expense of education as well, ranging from individual or specific to college scholarships to sponsorship from an employer. Check out anything that might apply to you.
If you or your children suffer from disabilities or long term illnesses, grants for education costs may be found. Cancer sufferers can get extra help in most cases. Look on the internet, as many special needs awards in cases like these are made across the US every year. Maybe your church or other religious group might offer help in the form of a grant or a loan?
Also, if your kids are talented in sports, academic subjects or even have been particularly notable for their help in the community there may be scholarships on offer for them too.
Assistance with transportation
Cars can be costly to maintain and to run, but if you can find a group of other single moms in your area maybe you can get a car sharing scheme running.
Mothers who live in Ohio’s towns and cities should be able to find public transportation with few problems.
So, now you have all the information you need to get the help to make your life a whole lot easier in Ohio