With a low crime rate, uncrowded cities, stunning mountainous countryside and a low cost of living, West Virginia is a brilliant state for families.
But, not all families are created equal. Some families struggle to find enough cash to get through the month, and this is even more likely to be the case for you if you are a single mom. Single moms have a tougher time than most. You have to raise the kids, keep the house, do the shopping and cooking and cope with all the everyday problems that are part of family life without the help and support of a partner. What makes it even tougher is that you also have to get a job and go out to work.
Surviving on a single income is hard work, but there is help available for single moms in West Virginia. Many moms miss out on some of the help they are entitled to because they simply don’t know how to get it. Don’t be one of those moms…the help is there, and this is how to find it.
You might not be aware of it, but the United States has billions of dollars put aside to give in grants to single moms who are experiencing financial hardship!
Next, in West Virginia, you might be able to get assistance from TANF(Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The program in the state is also called WV Works. VW Works offers valuable help with finances and in many other important areas of life to get you back on your feet and help you become self sufficient. Find out all about it here:
If you are worried about receiving unexpected bills and other expenses at the end of the month when money is really short, you might have thought about taking out a Payday Loan. This is a short term loan that can be useful to tide you over ’til payday, but they have a downside too. 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
Good food is the stuff of life, and it’s never more important than when you are pregnant, breast feeding or have young children to feed. Kids and moms need access to plenty of good, fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy products and grains to be healthy and happy. But, these foods can cost more than junk food leaving you with a problem.
If you need help with nutrition and you live in West Virginia, this is what to do. If you have registered for help through WV Works, you can get nutritional assistance there. If not, don’t worry, West Virginia has other programs in place that could offer the help you need.
One program that you might turn to is SNAP. This is the replacement program for the old Food Stamps scheme, and issues electronic cards instead of paper vouchers. These are then swiped through credit card type machines in participating grocery stores to allow you to take goods.
And, SNAP also offers 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.
Next up to think about is WIC. 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 West Virginia’s WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it and your eligibility here:
Finally, nutritional aid can also be obtained through the Food Banks of West Virginia.
Assistance with childcare
If you are a single mom, chances are that you need to go out to work to earn the money to keep your family. Not for you the luxury of staying home to raise the kids! So, you will need to find someone to look after the children while you are at work. Child care can take up a large portion of your income, but there is help available for single moms in West Virginia who don’t have a lot of cash to spare. Subsidized places in child care can be obtained if you have kids under 13, or under 18 if they have special needs.
Of course, it is possible that you won’t be able to obtain help with child care through this program if you don’t meet the criteria. But, don’t panic yet, because there are still things you can do that should help you find a solution. Make friends with other single moms in your neighborhood 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 switched on employers might be prepared to set up a crèche or offer a little help to pay the costs of child care. It is amazing sometimes how just talking to people can help you to find answers to your problems.
Assistance with healthcare
Healthcare policies are expensive, often far too expensive for those who don’t have a high income. The irony of it is it is often those on low incomes who most need the help that medical services offer. Single moms with young kids, pregnant women, children…all need access to routine medical care and also to help in the case of illness or emergency.
Try first to see if you qualify for Medicaid. Low income families can often receive all the help they need from this well known healthcare program.
There is also a progrm called CHIP in West Virginia. This provides health cover for children, so check it out as even if you aren’t eligible for Medicaid, it could be really useful.
Assistance with housing
Housing can be hard to find. Well, the sort of housing you need if you are a single mom with young children anyway. Moms and kids need a real safe, comfortable place to call home, but they often find it tough to afford that sort of place. To get assistance with housing, get onto the webpage linked below for West Virginia’s Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD). HUD can offer help with finding suitable accomodations for families, and also help to pay the rent or the mortgage.
Utility bills can also be a big source of worry. If you are worrying about the cost of heating or cooling your home in West Virginia, try seeing if LIHEAP can help. If you fit the criteria, your energy bills can be subsidized, so you won’t have to shiver through the winter or roast in summer! It’s important to have a comfortable temperature in the home when the kids are very young, so get the help if you need it.
Assistance with education
Everyone knows that education is all important in today’s jobs market. You can’t get a decent job without qualifications, so it may be that you need to return to college to make a better future for yourself and your family. Also, your kids need to go to college so that they too can get those all important exams. Education, though, comes at a price. The costs can be too high to meet alone, so you need to find help to pay them.
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 West Virginia.
The College Foundation of West Virginia can give you more information about help with education funding too:
What if you want to get a professional qualification, such as nursing? If you do, there may well 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.
There are so many possibilities of help with education. It takes a bit of time and effort, but the results are so worth it!
Assistance with transportation
Single moms who live in West Virginia’s cities or bigger urban areas will probably find that there is no need for the expense of a car. Public transportation is good and affordable.
But, of course, if you live in the more rural areas, you may find public transport a little less easy to use. If you live out in the country areas of Wisconsin state, you will need access to a car to get around. Why not see if this scheme, linked blelow, can offer you a free car? Sounds too good to be true, but it is possible
There are no guarantees, but you might just be lucky!
Cars do cost a lot to maintain and run, and this can be quite worrying if you don’t have much spare cash. 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!
If you have a disabled child, or have a disability or serious illness yourself, you could get help with tranportation through West Virginia’s Non Emergency Medical Transport scheme. Find details here:
So, you see, you are not alone in West Virginia, even if you are a single mom. Make the most of the help that the state offers to you, and get on with enjoying family life!