Being a single mom in the United States is not the easiest thing in the world to be. The entire weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders. The need for assistance is great and the social programs are the first to go when budget cuts happen. In the state of Florida 1.4% of all households are on cash assistance and the number rises for those on Food assistance.
The current economic climate has made it harder to be a single parent than ever before. The idea that single parents should work toward self sufficiency was a great idea but with the current job crunch being self sufficient is not easy. Considering the fact that the recent crop of college graduates are mostly still unemployed, what hope does the undereducated truly have.
In today’s high tech society a single mom with only a high school education has less chance of becoming self sufficient than ever. Even the jobs that were once manual labor are now done by robots. Finding and funding education seems to be the only way to get ahead. Below we show you links that can provide you with the assistance you need while you attempt to make it onto the rolls of those that the government deems self sufficient.
Assistance Programs for Single Moms/Parents living in the state of Florida
Like other states now that Florida has control of its domestic budget the tables have turned. There is no longer an AFDC entitlement program in the state of Florida. This meant a name change and a change in the entire program. The program is now called ACCESS FLORIDA and it is the body charged with determining the eligibility of Florida residents to participate in any of the government sponsored assistance programs. You can find all of the information you need for applying for food assistance, cash assistance and childcare for select participants by going to http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/index.shtml there has been a new development in the program that affects the entire state. In order to be eligible for any state assistance all applicants must take and pass a drug screening. This new law applies to applicants looking to receive cash assistance for more information about this new law follow the link http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/drugtestinggeninfo.shtml THE ACCESS FLORIDA website has taken the place of most of the offices that would normally handle the traffic of applicants.
Childcare Assistance Programs
The childcare program in Florida is called Head Start in central Florida. If you live in Osceola, Orange or Seminole counties this link will give you all the info for applying in your area http://www.4cflorida.org/Central-Florida/Programs/Head-Start.aspx . For all other counties if you search the name of the county,for instance Polk and Head Start you will be directed to the proper websites. Always look for .org or .gov. at the end of the URL, this will assure that you are in the right place. http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/ess/
Housing/Rent Assistance Programs
The financial programs for single parents’ housing is generally handled by the states Housing and Urban Development offices. http://www.hud.gov/local/fl/renting/hawebsites.cfm I have provided you with the link for that but you may also want a bit more information. Each year the government puts out its annual fair market rents reports for each county. This tells you how much the average apartment should cost in a variety of bedroom sizes. http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/fmr.html Housing has become the single most important program for single moms. According to the Florida coalition for the homeless over 40% of the homeless are families with small children. The shelters are bursting at the seams and the tent cities are growing. Lack of adequate employment is cited as the major cause of homelessness in Florida.
Educational Assistance Programs
We know that education is the key to solving the homeless problem as well as the jobless ratio.
As always you can find assistance for a single mom for education by applying for the Pell Grant at http://fafsa.gov/ local high schools and community colleges have information on scholarships and local grants that you may be eligible for. The following link
is to a site that has a ton of information and applications for grants and scholarships in the state of Florida. Some civic groups and churches also sponsor education for the right candidates. The way to find out is to get out there and start asking questions.
Healthcare Assistance Programs
people have been saying healthcare as if its a dirty word but for a single mom with none finding any type of help with medical bills is a necessity. That is where the Florida department of Social services comes to the rescue. They still offer the most comprehensive health care program for eligible children however it is a bit harder for single adults. But when you are a single mom knowing your child’s health is taken care of is the most important thing.
http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/ess/medicaid.shtml the state went a step further and instituted the programs that you find at the following link
http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/MediKids/index.shtml which is a low cost medical insurance for single parents who do not qualify for the other programs. If you have a child age 1-4 and do not have any type of health care option you qualify.
Food Assistance Program
The food stamp program is the only thing about the benefits that were formerly handed out by AFDC to have not underwent a drastic change you can apply at http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/ and most of the cities have a local second harvest program that supplies food banks year round. If you are a single mom with children under the age of 5 you may qualify for the state Women, Infant and Children program (WIC) http://www.doh.state.fl.us/family/WIC/ this program is also for pregnant and breastfeeding moms.
Transportation Assistance Programs
In the state of Florida you have a choice of the public transportation systems, a car, or taxi. The state supplies free bus tickets to residents that meet certain criteria. If you qualify for any of the return to work programs through Access Florida you may be provided with bus tickets for job searches. Florida http://www.worksourcefl.com/Jobseekers.aspx can give you more information about this or check with your case manager.