Assistance in Texas

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The state of Texas is the largest in the continuous 48 states…and second only to Alaska in size. The state is politically and economically important and is famed for the affluent city of Dallas, the assassination of JFK, its oil, its cattle and Davy Crockett!

If you live in Texas, no doubt you know all that about your state, and a whole lot more too. But, did you know that if you are a single mother living in Texas there’s no need to feel that you are all alone in your battle to take care of your family?

Texas state knows that being a single mom can be a tough call. Money, from a single income or no income if your kids are very young, can be hard to find, and things are so expensive.  You may need help with education, with child care, with nutrition or housing, to name but a few of the things you might be struggling to pay for. Well, it’s time to stop worrying and take action. All you need to know is the right people to turn to and the help you need could be on its way.

 

Financial Assistance

The next thing to look at is th TANF program. TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and it is a great program that can help sort out a lot of your problems. There is a time limit on it: 60 months is a lifetime limit per person, but in this time you could turn your life around. TANF can help you with cash, with housing, with child care and family nutrition…so check it out here:

http://www.tanf.us/texas.html

Maybe, if cash is tight, you are also thinking about  Payday Loans. These are short term loans that can be useful if unexpected bills arrive just before payday, when money is in short supply. However, a lot of these loans have gotten a bad name for charging a very high interest rate and for imposing big 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. Don’t turn to the loan sharks, it only creates more debt in the end. If you can find a grant or other form of state aid instead, go for that, it doesn’t have to be repaid.

 

Assistance with food

Buying something as simple and essential as food to feed the family can be harder than it sounds. Single moms often find that their cash doesn’t go far enough, so quality fresh foods are sometimes replaced by cheap junk food. You know what you want to buy, but it costs just too much. Don’t worry, there is help for you in Texas so you can get the right nutrition for yourself and your kids.

If you have registered for help through TANF, you can get nutritional assistance there.  If not, Texas has a program called SNAP that could be just the ticket. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program) has replaced the outdated Food Stamps program in Texas, and will issue eligible moms with an electronic benefits card. This is simply swiped though a machine like a credit card in participating grocery stores in payment or part payment for food. Find out if you could receive this aid here:

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. There’s nothing so good as fresh, home grown food!

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 Texas WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it and your eligibility here:

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/gi/eligible.shtm

Texas also has Food Banks that might be of assistance with your family’s nutrition. The following link can tell you where to find the food banks, and how to get the help:

http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx?state=TX

 

Assistance with childcare

If you can’t find or afford good, reliable child care, you can’t go to work. It’s that simple. But, you have to go to work if you are ever going to earn the money you need to raise your kids right and have a decent life.

It’s a tough problem, and one that faces so many single moms in Texas. So, make the most of the help you can get from your state. This is what is on offer in Texas:

http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/childcare/ccinfo.html

However, if you don’t fit the criteria but still need help finding the right child care solutions, there are other things to try.   Make friends with other single moms in your neighbourhood 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. Just talking to folks in your neighborhood could throw up an answer to the problem.

 

Assistance with healthcare

When you have young kids you will know just how much they need to see doctors, dentists, opticians…there is always something medical that needs attention. Children have a way of becoming sick or having accidents, and don’t you know it! Then there is all the routine stuff too…and for you as well, when you are pregnant or have just given birth. Some moms may have long term illnesses or disabilities, and kids too can suffer from these problems that make health care even more important. If you need help to pay the medical bills (and who doesn’t?), Texas has some suggestions for you.

If you have a low income, you may be eligible for Medicid.

http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1640

If it is health care just for the kids that you need, this is the link to follow. It take you to a page giving all the info about the Texas CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance program):

 

Assistance with housing

Next item on the list? Housing. Yes, Texas can help you with this vital part of life too, through its Housing and Urban Development Program (HUD). You can get help with rental payments, mortgage payments, and to find safe, suitable accomodation in which to raise your family.

http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=tx&topic=renting

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 Texas,  this help also is on the cards. There’s a scheme called LIEAP that can cut the stress of paying these for you.

http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/ea/index.htm

 

Assistance with education

These days everyone needs a good education. Education can help you to get a better job, a better income and a brighter future. It can also set your kids on the path to a great life. So, whatever you do, you need to find a way to get that education.

The good news is that education is also an area that attracts a huge 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 Texas.

http://www.fafsaonline.com/FAFSA-school-codes/tx/

Perhaps you are thinking about taking a professional qualification, such as nursing? If so,  there might be special funding for you. 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.

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 the big towns and cities of Texas should have no problems getting about on the state’s public transportation. It’s well organized and it’s affordable. Get the lowdown here:

http://www.txdot.gov/drivers_vehicles/public_transit/find_ride.htm

There are no guarantees, but you might just be lucky!

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. Or, maybe you can afford to offer someone just a little cash to get lifts to work? 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 Texas. Find out all you can from the links given above, and ask if you need further help. Texas wants to help you!