If you live in Wyoming, you can count yourself pretty lucky. Ranked the third most liveable state (for overall quality of life) and sixth safest state in America, the state has a great record and lots to offer its residents.
Of course, if you happen to be one of Wyoming’s single mothers, you may not alweays feel so lucky. Life can be pretty hard on single moms. After all, all the worries of child rearing and making a living are down to you. There’s no partner to help out, and you could be feeling isolated and alone at times.
However, there’s some good news. Wyoming has lots to offer to single moms by way of help, so find out what you could be eligible for here and make sure you get the help you deserve.
If you want to look at state specific help programs, Wyoming has an excellent program called TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) which can offer assistcnace with several important areas of your life. TANF gives this aid to eligible moms for up to 60 months, but this is a lifetime limit so make sure you use it wisely if you sign up.
Perhaps you are also worrying about about receiving unexpected bills and other expenses at the end of the month when money is really short? If so, 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
Feeding your family on fresh, nutritious good is something that all moms would like to do. You want to fill your fridge with fresh vegetables, dairy products, nuts, fish and to have cereals and bread always on hand…but you don’t know how to make the budget stretch far enough to buy all these things.
If you need help with nutrition and you live in Wyoming, this is what to do. If you have registered for help through Wyoming’s TANF, you can get nutritional assistance there. If not, don’t worry, Wyoming has other programs in place that could offer the help you need.
One program that you might turn to is SNAP (also known as Foodshare in Wyoming). 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 foodstuffs. You can’t use the card to buy cigarettes or alcohol, but you can buy pretty much all basic foods with it.
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 Wyoming’s WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children, and you can find more about it and your eligibility here:
If you still haven’t managed to find help with your family’s nutrition, have you thought about Wyoming’s Food Banks? They can really provide good, basic foods for struggling families. Find out more on the link below:
Assistance with childcare
Going out to work is probably something you have to do, if you are a single mom. Whether you want to work or would rather stay at home with the kids, single parenthood rarely offers you a choice. Someone needs to earn the money, so it has to be you! However, child care can cost a lot, and you could even find that there is very little left over from your monthly paycheck once you have paid the child minder! Clearly, you need help. Luckily, Wyoming has exactly the help you need. Find out if there might be subsidised places available with approved child minders from Wyoming’s Department of Family Services.
If you are able to obtain help through this , then that’s great. You’re sorted. But, it is possible that you won’t be able to obtain help with child care through the state 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 only earn a low income. The sad truth is that 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. And, if you or your kids suffer from serious illnesses or disabilities, your needs (and potential costs) are doubled. You want help to find affordable healthcare options, and you want it now.
The first step is to see if you qualify for Medicaid. Low income families can often receive all the help they need from this well known healthcare program. In Wyoming, it’s known as Equality Care.
Children and families who can’t get Medicaid but can’t afford to pay for private health care policies either can receive medical aid through Wyoming’s CHIP scheme.
Assistance with housing
Good, safe, comfortable housing is essential if you are bringing up a family. Like many other things though, it can be very costly and even difficult to find. To get assistance with housing, get onto the webpage linked below for Wyoming’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 be yet another big problem for single moms. Just getting a house is not enough, now you have to pay the bills! If you are worrying about the cost of heating your home in winter in Wyoming, perhaps 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
You need a good education to improve your prospects and to improve your quality of life. That’s an inescapable fact of modern life in the US. So do your kids. So, whether it is you or your kids (or all of you!) who need to go to college to get better qualifications, you also probably need help to meet the costs. Here’s how to go about it.
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 Wyoming:
There is a lot more you can do, when it comes to getting help with education in Wyoming.
Say 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.
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
Public transportation is a really good way of getting about. If you live in one of Wyoming’s urban areas, it is probably all you will ever really need (and it’s cheap!), so get to know what buses run from where here:
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 Wyoming state, you will probably need access to a car to get around. Why not see if this scheme, (do a search on it as the details might have changed — in general TANF is the one who operates it), can offer you a free car? Sounds too good to be true, but it is possible!
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!
So, here’s hoping that you’ve found the help you need in Wyoming. Life should just get better from here on in!