Caring for a family is hard in the best of times and with the best circumstances. As a single mom in the state of Georgia it is even harder. The struggle is on to find adequate affordable housing, work, continued education and medical care for you and the ones you love. In spite of the recent outcry against public assistance Georgia still has a number of programs to assist single moms in their effort to care for their children. We all agree that a child needs a clean safe and healthy environment to grow and thrive but there are thousands of children who do not even have the basics of life.
The economy has taken its toll on these single parent families and the working poor are now a large portion of this countries homeless population. The high cost of housing and the low minimum wage keeps many on the public assistance roles. And now with the budgets being cut in most states and the reorganization of the public assistance grants we are seeing a new era of poverty.
We will attempt to assist you with links to popular programs offered by the state of Georgia for cash, food, housing and medical.
The streets are no place to raise a family and with the economy not bouncing back as swiftly as we wanted it to we have to have viable alternatives.
Assistance Programs for Single Moms/Parents living in the state of Georgia
TANF is the program that provides cash assistance for children and the adults caring for them. It used to be called AFDC and was more of an entitlement but now most states TANF requires that parents participate in work readiness programs in order to remain on the case. The adults only receive 48 months of assistance. This is over their entire lifetime. Use it wisely and if you can save this as a backup plan do so.
If you are a guardian you can choose to be excluded from the child’s grant but parents, who are living with the child, have to be included whether they want to or not.There are very specific guideline for eligibility for TANF in Georgia these link will take you to a site that will give you a complete breakdown of these rules:
Childcare Assistance Programs
In order to work or attend school childcare is a necessity. Suffice it to say that affording childcare on the meager wages that is being earned today is next to impossible without some type of subsidy. The Georgia CAPs program is the one you will need if you plan to work or go to school. Single moms will be required to meet the eligibility requirements but these are not that high.
Follow this link to learn how you can apply and what all of the requirements are. http://dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/portal/site/DHS-DFCS/menuitem
Housing/Rent Assistance Programs
Knowing where they are going to sleep from one night to the next is one thing a child should be sure of. There are plenty of single moms who have literally been priced out of housing and into the shelters across the country and Georgia is not an exception. The Local Section 8 program can be applied for through the Housing and Urban Development http://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/RentalAssistance/index.asp or http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/georgia. You may also be able to get short term help for utilities and rent through local churches and civic organizations. Contacting you local Catholic Charities or Jewish Family Services for more information.
Educational Assistance Programs
The first step for going back to school and pursing a degree is the Pell Grant. You can apply for it online at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/index.html once you have this application done and you are accepted for the Pell Grant getting others becomes all the easier. Check with your local secondary education facilities and community college financial aid office for other grants that are available in your area. This site has a list of some of the more prominent scholarships in Georgia http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-state/georgia-scholarships/
Healthcare Assistance Programs
We have heard a lot about healthcare reform but this has little if any impact on the nations poor and the children who really need preventive or emergency care. http://www.dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/portal/site/DHS-DFCS/menuitem this link will take you to a site that explains the Georgia Medicaid program and its requirements in detail and also tell you how you can apply. One beneficial program is Georgia’s PeachCare for Kids http://www.peachcare.org/ which is sponsored by Georgia Department of Community Health. The program offers comprehensive healthcare for children until age 18. If you are pregnant you should take advantage of the Right from the Start program it can be reached by calling 1-800-809-7276. this program can help you receive the proper prenatal care and take care of the infant for years to come.
Food Assistance Programs
The Food Stamp program as we had known it for years has changed. Like everything else it has went plastic instead of paper. https://compass.ga.gov/selfservice/ is the URL that takes you directly to the site that allows you to apply online for these benefits. This site provides a quick and easy way for Georgia residents to apply for the benefits they need. The website is so easy all you need to do is click on the various icons to navigate the site. One of the best resources for finding nutritious food is the Adoption services website at http://www.adoptionservices.org/food_banks/food_banks_georgia.htm it has a listing of food banks and another good source for finding food banks in your area is the local phone book or speak to the local churches many of them are Second Harvest of Georgia outlets. The Women, Infant and Children’s program is also an avenue for good nutrition http://wic.ga.gov/ learn more at this website.
Transportation Assistance Programs
The Georgia Public transportation system is all that is offered for single moms without vehicles. In most cities the routes are extensive in others not so much. Check with your local bus service for route information http://www.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,2094,4802_5013,00.html most are listed on this website.