Beautiful Vermont. The state that has featured in so many films, the state where people go to play. They go to ski in winter, they go to see the stunning splendour of the colours of Fall. Vermont is the healthiest of all the 50 states, features in the top ten most liveable states (quality of life) , is the fifth smartest state and it’s the second safest state you can live in.
All of that is fantastic news, of course. Living in Vermont brings with it many blessings. However, single moms in Vermont, like single moms anywhere, can find life a little tough to do from time to time. After all, you have to take on the world single handedly, or so it seems. Without a partner, you not only have to run the house and raise the kids, you also have to go out to wok to earn the money that keeps your family.
So, if you are a single mom living in Vermont and facing problems, it’s good to know that the state has lots of ways to help. Don’t miss out just because you don’t know what’s available or how to apply for it!
Vermont also has a TANF program that might be of interest to you. TANF is Temporary Assistance for Needy families, and it can help you find that extra cash and addvice you need to imporve life immeasurably. TANF can be awarded to eligible moms for up to 60 months, and can offer valuable assistance with child care, nutrition and health care. It can also help you to get back into a decent job so you become self reliant by the end of the program. In vermont, TANF is sometimes also known as Reach Up.
You might also have thought 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
You cannot underestimate the importance of good nutrition if you are a preganant, breast feeding mom oir if you have young kids. You need energy to get you through those real busy days of yours, and the kids need energy because…well, because kids expend energy like it was going out of style. Good nutrition is vital…things like eggs, milk, fish, grains and fresh fruit and vegetables should always be in the cupboards and in the fridge.Trouble is, they can cost more than you can afford on a single income.
If you have registered for help through TANF, you can get nutritional assistance there. If you aren’t part of a TANF or Reach Up scheme, take a look at this.
Vermont also offers a program called SNAP. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and is available to families in need. It replaces the old Food Stamps programs, and works by allocating electronic swipe cards to eligible people. These are used a payment or part payment in designated grocery stores for most food stuffs.
And, SNAP and 3squaresVT offer the chance to use your swipe card in exchange for seeds, 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 Vermont WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it and your eligibility here:
Finally, have you considered finding out more about the Food Banks and Pantries in Vermont? They are another really useful source of help with nutrition.
Assistance with childcare
If you are a single mom, child care is likely to figure high on your list or needs. As child care can be expensive too, it’s also likely to figure high on you list of financial worries. Some moms find that a large poortion of their income is immediately eaten up by the costs of child care, which just isn’t right!
It’s a tough problem, and one that faces too many single moms in Vermont and across the whole of the US. So, make the most of the help you can get from your state. This is what is on offer in Vermont:
As you can see from the above links, Vermont has a good few suggestions when it comes to finding child care. Still, not all single moms will find that they are eligible for this help, but if this happens to be true for you, there are still things you can do that should help you find an answer. 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 a solution to the problem.
Assistance with healthcare
It’s a sure bet that health care will be another area that is giving you nightmares if you are a single mom on a low income. Kids need doctors, dentists, opticians, and so do you…especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have recently given birth. But, the policies that usually cover these things cost an arm and a leg!
If you have a low income, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
However, Vermont also knows that not everyone is able to benefit from a Medicaid programn. So, there are other options in this state.
Assistance with housing
So, you’ve ticked a few problems off you list by now. You’re sorted for health care, nutrition, childcare and maybe you even found a little cash assistance. That’s great news, but you’re not quite finished yet. No doubt you’ve thought about housing? If you have kids to bring up, you need good quality housing that’s comfortable and in a safe, suitable environment. If you need help finding accomodation of this type, or if you are finding it a struggle to pay the rent or mortgage as a single parent, check out Vermont’s housing assistance programs here:
Vermont is a beautiful state in winter, but boy, it can be cold! If paying the heating bills is something that’s worrying you, take a look at LIHEAP. This can help subsidize your payments so you can use the electricity you need to keep your home warm and cozy.
Assistance with education
If you want to earn decent money, you need a decent education. Maybe you need to go back to school to study for a new career? Or, maybe your kids are off to college? Either way, you have to find help to cope with the costs.
The good news is that education is also an area that attracts a large 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 links below give you information about how to apply for FAFSA in Vermont.
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.
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
Vermont, like any state, has its big towns and well developed urban areas, and if you happen to live in any of these, chances are that public transportation will be all you need to get around. Find out about it on the link below:
But, Vermont is also a state with vast tracts of rural land. So, if you live out in the country, public transport may not be quite so easy to use. Well, did you know that there is a scheme that could give you a car…for free? If you live in a rural part of Vermont, 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. Or, maybe you can afford to offer someone just a little cash to get lifts to work? Talk to people, ask around, check out ads in local shops and papers…maybe there is someone who is looking to share a car with someone just like you!
You are living in one of the US's loveliest states, in Vermont. So make sure you make the most of it.