The state of Tennessee. It’s a state with a rich history that connects it to Britain and to France. It’s a place with outstanding natural beauty and wildlife. In fact, it’s a great state to live in, for many reasons. However, if you happen to be a single mother who is finding it hard just to get enough cash to put a roof over your children’s heads, it’s likely that you won’t have a lot of time to make the most of life in Tennessee.
Single mothers don’t have life easy, that’s for sure. Everything that has to be done is down to you. Raising the kids, doing the shopping, taking care of the house, paying the bills and going out to earn the cash…it’s all for you to do. When worries turn up, there’s no one to share it all with either.
It can be a tough call, being a single mom. But, if you are a single mom in Tennessee, you need to know that the state is here to help you. There’s a lot of aid out there for people like you, and all you have to do now is read on and follow the links to get it.
Are you aware that the United States has billions of dollars put aside to give in grants to single moms who are experiencing difficulties? You could be entitled to handouts of cash from the government, so take a look at the link below to find out more:
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is a really useful program. TANF can help you with problems like finding affordable child care, housing, nutrition and more. It offers up to 60 months of aid for each person accepted onto the scheme, and be a great leg up to get back to self sufficiency. Take a look here to see if you might be able to join TANF.
You might also have heard of Payday Loans. These are short term loans that can be useful if unexpected bills arrive just before payday, when money is tight. However, many of these loans have gotten a bad name for being very high interest and for imposing very high fines for late repayments. So, if you need to take a loan like this, make sure you read the small print carefully and only ever borrow from a reputable lender like an established bank.
Assistance with food
When you are a single parent, and you have only one wage coming in, even buying enough food to feed the kids seems like it can be just too hard at times. Kids need good nutrition…fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy produce and grains to grow strong and healthy. And, as a busy mom who might even be pregnant or breastfeeding, so do you. The problem, as ever, is that these things can cost a lot of money, and that is something you haven’t got enough of.
If you have registered for help through TANF, you can get nutritional assistance there. Tennessee TANF has a program called Families First that might be able to help.
If you aren’t eligible for TANF, what about SNAP? SNAP has replaced the outdated Food Stamps Program (though it is still sometimes called Food Stamps…old habits die hard!), and offers an electronic card now instead of the old vouchers. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and it can really help you to buy the foods you need for the family.You just take the card to a designated SNAP store, have it swiped and use it in payment or part payment for goods. All the details of SNAP in Tennessee are here:
And more here:
Also, if you are on SNAP benefits, did you know that SNAP offers the chance to use your swipe card in exchange for seeds too, so if you have any outside space you can start a vegetable patch of your own and have really fresh food for a fraction of the cost! If you live in an apartment and don’t have any yard space you can still grow herbs or maybe tomatoes in a window box.
If you have kids under the age of 5, or if you are breastfeeding, post partum or pregnant, you should be able to obtain help through the Tennessee WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it here:
Food Banks are another possible source of help with nutrition. Check out what Tennessee can offer on the link below. There are several outlets in the state:
Assistance with childcare
Finding good, realiable childcare so that you can go out to work can be a major headache for single moms, but it is something you just have to do. Then, you have to find a way to pay for it!
If you are one of tennessee’s single moms whose income doesn’t stretch to affording childcare, this is what to do. If you are receiving help from TANF, they can also assist you with subsidized child care. If you are not involved with a TANF program, check out this link.
You’ll see there are several possible sources of help with childcare, you have to see which you could be eligible for.
If you can’t get accepted onto any of these programs, don’t panic. There are other ways to find child care. Just getting to know other single moms in your neighbourhood can help, as you could get together to start a babysitting circle, or maybe club together to pay another mom to stay at home and look after a group of kids. Some churches or community groups offer child care at affordable rates too. Even some enlightened employers might be prepared to set up a crèche or offer a little help to pay the costs of child care. You’ll get nothing if you don’t ask, so get asking!
Assistance with healthcare
Moms and kids need doctors, dentists and opticians on a regular basis for routine care. They are also likely to need medical services for accidents and illnesses…hopefully these will be minor, but you need to be sure you will get the care when you need it!
If you have a low income, you may be eligible for TennCare. This is the name for Tennessee’s Medicaid program.
The TennCare Program offers a wider range of help than a traditonal Medicaid scheme, and has options for moms who might not usually qualify for Medicaid. For kids and young prople under the age of 19, look at the state’s TenderCare program.
Assistance with housing
Well, you’re getting there now. You’ve sorted cash, child care, food and health, so what’s the next problem that needs solving? Let’s look at housing. Housing is always a big issue for single moms who need a really safe, comfortable and decent environment in which to raise their kids.
If you live in Tennessee, the place to go for help with housing, rental payments and even mortgage payments is the Tennessee Housing and Development Agency.
Getting a house or apartment isn’t the end of the problem, of course. Maybe you are still worried about how to pay the cooling bills through the summer or the heating bills for winter? In Tennessee, help could be on the cards. There’s a scheme called LIEAP that can cut the stress of paying these for you.
Assistance with education
No one can afford to be without a good education nowadays. If you can get back to college, you can probably improve your chances of a better job and a better income. And, this means a much better family life too! Your kids need education as well, but the problem is, as ever, financial. Education costs.
What’s good to know, then, is that education is also an area of life that attracts a vast amount of funding in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. All you need to do is track down the right ones to help you. It isn’t possible to make a comprehensive list here as there are just too many, but the following ideas should point you in the right direction.
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 about how to apply for FAFSA in Tennessee.
If you are thinking about taking a professional qualification, such as nursing, there might be special funding for students. If you want to do something like this, search on the internet to see what help is available, or ask at the college you are attending.
There are many more 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, some 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.
You could also check out Celebrity Scholarships like those offered by David Letterman or Bill Gates. There are quite a few of these, with a lot of celebrity names getting in on the act of sponsorship for education in various fields.
Don’t miss out any possible avenue for assistance with education. Whatever you want to do, there will be someone, somewhere who can help!
Assistance with transportation
Single moms who live in Tennessee’s big urban areas should have no problems getting about on tennessee’s public transportation. It’s well organized and it’s affordable. Get the lowdown here:
Did you know that there is even a scheme that could give you a car…for free? If you live in a rural part of Tennessee, and could really use a car to get around, check out this link:
Cars can cost 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. You can split the costs and also share the driving…and that makes life easier for everyone! Then, you might just find someone nearby who is happy to exchange lifts to work for a little help with their kids, or with the cooking, cleaning or gardening. There is usually an answer to most problems if you keep looking.
The above should have sent you in the right direction to find the help you need to have a better life in Tennessee. Just click the links and fill in the forms!