If you are a single mom in these difficult economic times, you might be wondering how on earth you are going to make ends meet. Not only do you have very little disposable cash, you may find it harder then most to find affordable childcare so you can get a job, go to college, or even travel around getting the kids to school. It can be difficult to get safe, affordable housing if you don’t know where to look.
Single mothers face a lot of problems. There is help available, but sometimes finding it and getting it seems like a complicated and even impossible process. However, if you are a single parent in Connecticut you’ll be pleased to hear that not only are there a good number of programmes in place to help you, there are people ready to provide the assistance you need to establish your eligibility for help and to complete the necessary applications.
The information and links below take you to the right places to get the help you need. There is advice too for those who may find that the state programmes alone don’t answer their needs. Don’t feel alone, there are a lot of people in the same situation, and there is assistance waiting for you.
Probably the first thing on your mind is cash. There’s never enough of it, not when you have kids to feed, clothe, house, educate and keep healthy.
TANF…Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families is another possible source of emergency cash. This program is set up to provide emergency help for needy and low income families, single moms and pregnant women. The first thing to do is to discover if you might be eligible to benefit from TANF. Their website has all the details of how to qualify and how to apply for the assistance. You can contact them here:
Connecticut also offers help with cashflow through the TFA (Temporary Family Assistance) program. Information and contact details are all found on the link below.
Something else you may have considered is taking out a short term or ‘payday’ loan. These are heavily advertised, but it’s better to make use of state programs and grants if you can because payday loans have to be repaid, and can have very high repayment rates. If you do need to resort to a loan, make sure you choose one with a low APR, and also check that you will be able to repay the loan within the stipulated time to avoid fines and extra expense.
Even if you can’t find a cash handout, it isn’t time to panic. There are plenty of other ways in which single mothers who are residents of Connecticut can find help for themselves and their families.
Giving your kids a healthy and plentiful diet is probably pretty high on your list of essentials if you are a mother, single or not. Good nutritious food is a basic necessity, and one that no mom or child should be without.
Connecticut has food pantries or food banks that might be just what you are looking for if you are bringing up kids on a low income. There’s even a mobile food panty that visits outlying areas so even single mothers without transport can access the pantry program. You can find details here:
There’s also the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) program that’s worth knowing about if you live in Connecticut. This provides help with the costs and provision of food for low income families, so have a look and see if SNAP can help you. The website offers clear guidelines for eligibility for the program.
Finally, there is the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program. This will provide assistance with the cost of fresh and healthy foods required by young children and pregnant or breastfeeding moms. You can see all the details here:
Here’s the conundrum. You need to go to work to earn money to take care of your kids. You need a good, well paid job so that you can do that properly. BUT, how do you get to college to gain the qualifications that will get you that good job if you can’t afford proper, reliable childcare? And even if you have the qualifications, how does a single mom get a well paid job if she has to take time off to look after the kids because childcare isn’t available to her? It seems a never ending cycle of difficulty.
However, help is at hand. Connecticut has a great program in pace called Care4Kids. This offers help finding and paying for good childcare so you can do what you need to earn a living.
If this isn’t able to help you, try helping yourself. Get in touch with other single parents in the locality, and see if between you you can manage to set up a childcare rota. Perhaps some of you work part time, or work occasional night shifts and have a little time available to care for other people’s kids when they are at work in return for help with yours when you have to be out? Also, consider asking around to see if the community has any local schemes run by employers, churches, minority groups or any other body.
Healthcare is a big worry for single moms on low incomes. Healthcare policies can be terribly expensive, and many single moms simply can’t afford them. You don’t want to take any risks with your kids’ health, and if you are pregnant or have just given birth chances are you need care yourself. Here’s what to do.
Take a look at Medicaid first, to see if you qualify for state aid through this well known program. You need to have a low income, be disabled , elderly, have young children or be needy in some way. The following link explains what services are provided under Medicaid.
However, even if you don’t qualify for that program, you might find the Connecticut Medical Assistance program can help you.
Alternatively, assistance with healthcare might be found through HUSKY (Health care for Uninsured Children). The scheme can help provide healthcare for needy adults too.
What could be more important than a safe, decent place to live? Single moms need a really safe, good environment to bring up their kids, but sadly, in these tough economic times, affordable decent housing can be out of the reach of many.
Connecticut has a rental assistance program that could be just what you need. Access to it is though the Department of Social Services, on the following link.
In addition, Section 8 housing or subsidized apartments for single moms and families might be found through the HUD.
Getting a better education can be the key to establishing a better life for you and for your kids. However, whether it is you or your child who needs to get to school or college, fees and costs can be prohibitive for those on low incomes.
The first thing to do is to see if you are eligible for FAFSA. This is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The website linked below tells you how to go about applying.
Individual schools and colleges sometimes offer their own scholarship schemes, so if you know what college you or your child wants to enrol in, ask. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know what help might have been available to you. Not only this, but certain subjects and courses that lead to professional qualifications like nursing can carry financial aid.
Cast the net a little wider if none of the above has helped. Employers and big companies often have scholarships and grants on offer, and there are even celebrities getting in on the act. Get searching the internet as well as asking locally.
A lot of single moms find the cost of running a car too much to cope with, so get to know what public transport operates in your town or area. Most of Connecticut’s cities and large towns have good, affordable public transport systems in place. If you are on a Medicaid program, extra help with transportation can be available through this.
Once more, sometimes you just have to help yourself, and transport is another case in point. Getting to know other parents in your town or locality can offer the possibility of getting help with transport in return for babysitting services or similar.
Even though the cost of living in Connecticut is lower than the US average, it doesn’t mean life is easy if you’re a single mother. But, taking advantage of all the help that’s available and detailed above can make all the difference.