Hawaii. Paradise. Pineapples, sunshine, clear blue seas and glorious beaches. The scent of tropical flowers. Hawaii is the dream location for thousands of people, but what’s it actually like to live there?
Well, it can be wonderful, of course. But, if you’re a single mom struggling to pay the bills or to put good food onto the table to feed your kids, paradise is far from your mind. The problems you face can be just the same as those faced by single mothers everywhere
The good news is that help is at hand. Single mothers don’t have to cope alone, as the state has a variety of programs that can make all the difference and really help you to bring up your family in Hawaii.
Of all the help available to single moms, cash handouts can be hardest to get, so don’t bank on it. Yes, there are so called grants out there, but in all likelyhood, such funding is out of your reach. Your best bet is to go for indirect help from government organizations that cater to needy families. The TANF is one such government program.
Hawaii also has the TANF (Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy families) program, which can help in a number of ways. To be eligible, you will need to either work a certain number of hours or to take part in a government work scheme, but it could be worth your while. However, TANF is exactly what it says it is. A TEMPORARY program aimed at getting you into the position where you can look after your family without needing to rely in benefits. You can only avail yourself of TANF for up to 48 months (lifetime total) so think carefully before applying.
If you are struggling to make the money stretch far enough, you might be considering taking out a Payday Loan, or other short term loan to get you over the bad times. They can help some people, but be very careful, as a lot of these loans charge extortionate rates of interest and impose high penalties for late payments. Avoid them if you can.
One of a mother’s most important jobs is to provide good, healthy food for her family. It’s something a lot of people take for granted, but it isn’t always so easy when money is short. You don’t want to raise your kids on junk food, but you can’t afford to buy enough of the good stuff. It’s a big problem for a lot of single moms.
However, there is help on offer in Hawaii. No family should go without access to proper nutrition, especially pregnant or breastfeeding mothers or young children. Here’s what to do.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program) aims to make sure that no needy families in Hawaii go hungry. Here’s a link to get you all the answers you need about the program.
Consider using Food Banks too. Hawaii offers help to eligible families though its Food banks program, where donated food is given to those who meet certain criteria. This link will tell you what you need to know.
Another way of finding help to get essential foodstuffs may be through Hawaii’s Food stamps scheme. The WUIC (Women, Infants and Children) offers food vouchers to low income moms, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and women with young children.
Find out what assistance with food you are entitled to! Don’t go without.
It often seems to be a problem with no solution. To get a job, you need childcare. Even to get the education you need to get a decent job that pays enough for you to take care of your family, you need childcare. If there is no one to look after your children, you are stuck at home.
So, you need to know where to go to get good childcare, whether it is based in your own home or in a day care centre or crèche. But finding it is only one part of the problem. Paying for it is a whole other ball game.
Luckily, if you are a single mom who lives in Hawaii, there is help on offer with childcare. It’s called the Patch program.
There are other ways of organising childcare too. Get to know other moms and even single dads in the community, as see if you can get a rota or babysitting circle going between you. Ask about the town to see if there are any small schemes locally, which may operate at a lower cost, or see if your church or religious group can offer any assistance.
A lot of single moms worry about healthcare. When you are pregnant or have young children you need good healthcare almost more than at any other time of your life, but it can be so terribly expensive.
Don’t worry, in Hawaii you don’t have to go it alone. Assistance with healthcare for single mothers is found through QUEST. If you find that you are not eligible for QUEST, however, as the criteria on income are quite stringent, take a look at the TMA (Transitional Medical Aid) program. Details of both are on the following link:
Finding decent, safe and affordable housing in Hawaii can be just as great a problem as it is anywhere else for single mothers. In Hawaii, there is help available for your housing needs, but is varies from island to island, so you have first to identify the specific programs for where you live. You can get the information you need to take you to the right place for help here:
There is also the state housing scheme which could be of use.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) might be able to provide some relief from the worry of paying utility bills as well, so take a look at the website.
If you need to go to college to gain better qualifications so that you can get out to work and start earning, or if it’s your kids who are off to college, there is the added worry of how to pay the costs of education to face. Fortunately, education is an area that attracts a lot of help, some state based and some from diverse other sources.
The first thing to do is to see if you are eligible for FAFSA. This is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The above link takes you to a FAFSA website where you can get all the information about your eligibility, download the form and find the codes you need to apply for assistance for the college you want to attend. Filling in the form correctly is really important, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you have any doubts about it.
Hawaii has its own state grants and scholarships, so it could be that you are in line for one of these. Find out here:
There are plenty of other ways to get assistance with the costs of education. Scholarships and grants are sometimes on offer to people (adults or children) who suffer from certain illnesses and disabilities or to members of ethnic groups or of religious communities.
Then there are scholarships awarded by celebrities and by large companies like Coca Cola. Search the net for details, there may be more out there than you think.
Even if you are given a car, it can be pretty costly to run it, with the high price of gas and maintenance. Maybe you can split the costs by sharing a car with other single moms?
If a car isn’t for you, look at Hawaii’s public transport systems for an affordable way to get around. In the main areas, public transport is well developed as the islands see so much tourism.
Life in Hawaii can be good, even for hard up single moms. Just make sure you get every bit of help that you are entitled to!