Pennsylvania is a state that’s rich in many ways. It’s got a rich history, heritage and culture. It’s got richly fertile agricultural land, and a lucrative steel industry. Pennsylvania also offers plenty of great leisure and sporting activities…so life can be pretty good there. But, for single moms, other concerns can take over and spoil the fun.
Single moms have to do everything…and all without the support of a partner. It’s down to you, and you alone, to run the house, raise the kids and bring in the money. It can be a real tough call. What you need is to know there’s someone on your side, somewhere to turn for help.
There’s good news! If you live in Pennsylvania, you can find a number of programs that can do just that. There are programs to help you get back into education, back into better paid work, to find and pay for child care, to put better food on the table for your kids. You can get help with housing, healthcare and maybe even help to get a car. Sounds like just what you need? Read on!
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy families) is a really great program that could be exactly what you need. For up to 60 months (lifetime allocation) TANF can offer help with getting back to work, obtaining help with nutrition, child care and more. Don’t waste time, look at TANF now.
A lot of single moms find the end of the month a difficult time. The bills keep coming, but there is still some time to go before your pay check arrives. If this is familiar to you, you might be thinking about taking out a Payday Loan. A Payday Loan is a short term loan that can help to bridge that gap, but take care. Many are very expensive in interest rates, and can also impose high penalty payments if you are a little late repaying. Grants are always better if you can get them, as you don’t have to pay them back. But, if you do decide you need a loan, be sure to check it all out carefully. Always use a reputable lender like a bank, and avoid the loan sharks at all costs.
Assistance with food
If there is one thing you want to do for your kids, it is to feed them properly. Not only do you want them never to know hunger, you want to feed them on fresh, healthy food. However, quality food can cost a lot of money, and there isn’t always enough to go round.
Single moms in Pennsylvania can turn to SNAP for help. SNAP is short for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, and it is the new name for the old Food Stamps program. Instead of vouchers, you will now receive an electronic card that can be used as a swipe card in certain grocery stores in exchange for food products.
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 Pennsylvania WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it here:
Finally, food aid can be found though the Food Banks and Pantries of Pennsylvania. The link below will direct you to the nearest food bank to your home in Pennsylvania.
Assistance with childcare
There is little doubt that, as a single mother, it will be down to you to get a job and earn the money to keep the family. Getting a job can be tough enough in itself, but it gets even tougher if you don’t have a family member or good friend who can take care of the kid while you go out to work. Child care can be expensive, and it isn’t always easy to find either.
So here’s what to do. If you are receiving help from TANF, they can also assist you with subsidized child care. If not, get in touch with Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare, who will help if you are eligible. Find out more here:
Some moms find that they don’t qualify for aid through these state programs…but there are still things that can be done. Your local church or religious community may be able to offer a child care scheme, or even the local community may run an affordable crèche. If not, it is worth asking your employer if he or she can offer any help. Finally, if all of this fails, try making friends with other single parents in your neighbourhood. They will all probably be facing the same difficulties as you, and there’s a good chance you can sort something out between you.
Assistance with healthcare
Health care for the family is likely to be another thing on your long list of worries. Health care policies often cost too much to contemplate, and yet good health care is something no mother can afford to be without. Kids have a way of getting ill or having accidents when you can least afford the healthcare bills, so you need access to affordable healthcare as a priority.
If you have a low income, you could be eligible for Medicaid. Check it out before you look at other programs.
If Medicaid can’t help you, as there is a fairly low income level for eligibility, take a look at the other options available through the Department of Public Welfare.
There’s a program for pregnant moms and young kids, and a Fee for Service scheme. There is also a special scheme to offer assistance for people suffering from disabilities.
Assistance with housing
Families need safe, suitable and comfortable accommodation. However, as everyone knows, housing can be one of the biggest expenses you have to face and if you are a single mom surviving on a low income, it can be really hard to find and pay for. That’s why you should see if you are eligible for help from HUD. The Housing and Development Agency offers assistance with finding accommodation for families, and also with rent or even mortgage subsidies.
Once you have a house or apartment, your next worry will be how to pay the energy bills. Luckily, help with these can also be found in Pennsylvania through LIHEAP energy assistance programs.
Assistance with education
Everyone knows the importance of education nowadays. If you want to get on in this world, you need good qualifications. You might want to go back to school to get more exams under your belt so you can find a better job, or maybe it is time for your kids to go to college. Whichever it is, it all has to be paid for. Fortunately there is a lot of help to be found when it comes to education.
First, 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 Pennsylvania. Help is also available (if you need it) to fill in the forms correctly, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Some professional courses, like nursing, carry their own special funding for students. If you want to do something like this, search on the internet to see what help is available. You could be lucky!
There are lots 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. Medical conditions can also attract help, should any of your family suffer from them. Cancer sufferers or those with long term disabilities can get extra help in most cases. Again, look on the internet, as many special needs awards in cases like these are made across the US every year and if you are entitled to help you don’t want to miss out. And, sometimes churches or other religious groups have education scholarships or grants for their members and members’ children.
Don’t forget that 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
Cities and towns in Pennsylvania have good public transportation systems that you can use at affordable rates, so make sure you know what is what.
Cars can cost quite a lot to maintain and run, but if you can find a group of other single moms in your area maybe you can get a car sharing scheme running. Or you could see if there is someone in your area who can give you regular lifts in return for babysitting or other services.
So, you can see you don’t have to feel alone and isolated wherever you live in Pennsylvania.