Life in the state of Colorado has a lot going for it. It’s a state that has some fantastic countryside, vibrant cities and one of America’s lower costs of living. But, even a lower cost of living can seem too much if you’re a single mom on a limited budget.
Single mothers have it harder than most, it’s an inescapable fact. Not only do you have all the worry of the day to day bringing up of a family, you don’t have a partner to share those worries with. And to top it all, you have to survive and meet your family’s needs on only one income. That’s if you’re lucky enough to have found a job and can afford the childcare costs to allow you to get out to work. Tough? You bet it is.
If you happen to live in Colorado, and are a single mom who needs some help, the following information will help point you to the right people and places to find that help. There’s assistance to be found with cash, with feeding yourself and your kids, with childcare, healthcare, education, housing and even advice on how to get the best out of public transport. Knowing how to find help is the first step to solving the problem.
TANF…the Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families program is also a good place to seek help. The program is designed to help needy and low income families, single mothers and pregnant women, and there’s a lot of help on offer if you fit the criteria. Find out if TANF can help you on their website, which has all the details of how to qualify and how to apply for the assistance. You can contact them here:
Finally, if you’re strapped for cash, you might be considering a Payday loan, but tempting though these might be, be careful before you sign up for one. The APR (interest rate) can be very high, and if you can’t afford the repayments or can’t make them on time you can find yourself in more trouble than you started with. Avoid them if at all possible, or make sure you look for loans that have a low payback rate.
It isn’t just cash that you might need help with, so carry on reading to find all the different types of assistance Colorado offers to single moms.
Assistance with food
Putting good, healthy, nutritious food on the table for your kids is one of the first responsibilities of being a mom. The problem is, the best foodstuffs, like fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk and other foods that you know your kids need to be healthy and to grow up strong can be expensive.
Colorado runs a food assistance program that might be just what you’re looking for: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDHS-SelfSuff/CBON/1251580884676
Colorado also offers assistance with buying food for mothers with kids who are younger than five, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding through the WIC (Women, Infants and Children).
Food banks are another great source of nutritional help for needy families. The following link takes you to a list of food banks across Colorado.
Assistance with childcare
Finding good, affordable childcare is a major problem for many single mothers. It’s essential to have childcare, if you are going to be able to get out to work or to college to improve your prospects of a better future, but paying for it can be difficult. So, you need assistance with the costs as well as with how to find the right carers and day care centres. If you live in Colorado state, this is where to go. The Colorado Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) keeps an eye on the quality of childcare provision through a thorough licensing program, and also offers assistance with finding and paying for childcare to single moms and low income families.
There are other things you can do if you don’t qualify for state aid with childcare. Get to know other single moms in your town or area, as there may be a way to share childcare if you work part time. Sometimes church or religious groups run day care centres too, so it’s worth asking.
Assistance with healthcare
Your health and your family’s health is paramount. You just can’t afford to take risks, but if you can’t afford the often high costs of insurance, you can feel that you’re stuck in an impossible situation. The well known Medicaid program helps thousands of families who have low incomes, but if you don’t find yourself eligible for Medicaid, don’t worry. Here’s the link so you can check your eligibility.
If Medicaid can’t help you, the Colorado Indigent Care program may be an option.
There is also help available if you are battling breast or cervical cancer, through Colorado’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP).
Assistance with housing
No mother, single or not, wants to be homeless. A decent, safe place to live is a basic human need, and it’s more important than ever if you are a single mom with children to keep care for. HUD runs programs to help you to find affordable housing.
Also, the following link takes you directly to a site that helps provide rent assistance if you’re struggling to pay.
Assistance with education
When you are a single mother you know that you need a good job so that you are able to earn enough to keep your family well and happy. Education, and qualifications are vital to this, and you might need to go back to college to better your employment chances. Or maybe you are wondering how to meet school and college costs for your kids.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to get help with the cost of education. The first port of call is FAFSA
The above link will take you to FAFSA’s website. It tells you everything you need to know and offers help filling in those all important forms too. To get the codes you need for schools in Colorado, the next link is the one to use.
Sometimes the schools and colleges themselves offer help with fees through their own scholarships, grants and loans. If you can find a scholarship or grant, it’s better than taking out a loan as you will never have the worry of how to pay it back. Get in touch with the school or college you are interested in, and see if they have a program to help you.
Some other programs offer help for people studying certain subjects, or training for jobs where there is a need for qualified professionals such as nursing. Even many businesses and certain celebrities have scholarship schemes. Get on the internet and search for anything that might be there for your situation. Ask around your community too, as there may be more help on offer locally. Grants and scholarships are offered to ethnic groups, to people suffering from some illnesses or disabilities, and to members of religious communities. It’s surprising what you might find.
Assistance with transportation
Getting about, to work or to get the kids to school can be another worry for single mothers. If you live in a town you’ll probably find Colorado’s public transport systems can be quite affordable, but if you live out in the country it can be tougher. Here is where getting to know other moms can help. Maybe you can share a car between you, so it isn’t so expensive? Or perhaps someone with a car will take care of the transport in return for other help from you with childcare or some help about the house?
Colorado does have some good programs in place to help single mothers and their kids. Don’t miss out on any of them because you don’t know how to find the assistance you need. Just follow the links above and life could get a whole lot easier.