Kansas is a great state to live in. It’s got a diverse and beautiful countryside and some great cities. Chances are, if you live in Kansas, you are counting your blessings. But, if you also happen to be a single mom you may find that making ends meet is just as hard as it is anywhere else in these tough times.
Being a single mom anywhere comes with a whole set of responsibilities and problems, most of them financial. You have to bring up your kids and cope with all the worries that can bring, and you have no partner to share the worries with. Plus, you have to be breadwinner and home economist. Paying the bills and making the money go round is all down to you, and you alone.
The good news though, is that if you live in Kansas there’s no need to feel alone. The state has numerous programs in place to help single moms and to give them the financial assistance they need to enjoy life with their kids.
Another possible source of help and financial assistance is TANF. This is a great program that aims to help single moms who are having a hard time financially to get back into work and back on their feet. It is a temporary program, (Temporary Financial Assistance for Needy Families) which offers aid to eligible people for up to 2 years. There is a work requirement, and if you don’t currently have a job you may be able to be allocated a work placement through the program.
A short term loan, sometimes called a Payday Loan, may be something that you have considered if you are struggling to find the cash to meet your needs. However, as these can have very high interest rates and fines levied for late payments, it is better to avoid them if possible. Take a look at all the other assistance offered in Kansas before you sign up for a Payday Loan.
Food is always a concern for mothers. You want to put good, healthy food on the table for your family, and you know how important it is for growing children. Plus, if you yourself are pregnant or breastfeeding, you yourself will have high nutritional needs. Fresh, quality foods can be expensive to buy though. Luckily, there are several programs that can help single moms in Kansas.
If you are registered on the Medicaid scheme you will be able to take advantage of the Kansas Food Assistance program.
The WIC program is another that can help with the costs of food if you are a mom with kids under the age of 5, or are pregnant or breastfeeding an infant.
Kansas also has Food Banks which can be a really good way to get access to quality food. Food is donated by local benefactors, producers and farmers, and supplied to eligible people.
Single mothers usually have to hold down a job as well as caring for the kids, which means that you need to have affordable, quality childcare. It isn’t always easy to find, and paying for childcare out of an already tight budget can feel like it is a step too far for many single moms.
Kansas has the Childcare Subsidy Program that can help if you are on a low income. Details of the assistance on offer and the eligibility criteria are on the website below.
Try getting to know other single mothers in the locality too, because there may be a way of sharing childcare between you and keeping costs right down. Or, perhaps your church or other community association has a crèche you can use?
Healthcare is often a big worry for single parents. Medicaid is a great program for those who qualify, so check it out because if you are eligible, you could get all sorts of assistance with your and your children’s health.
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, perhaps because your income or benefits are just too high to meet the criteria, take a look at the Kansas Health Insurance Association.
If your kids are young (under 5) or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, there is also the very good WIC (Women Infants and Children) program.
Further programs that can help include the Health Wave program which caters for those whose income is too high for Medicaid, or the Women’s Healthcare and Family Planning services for women. You can find details of all these on the following link:
Getting and maintaining a safe, suitable home in which to raise your kids is of paramount importance for all parents. Single moms can feel more vulnerable than most, and can struggle to find enough money to pay the rent or to buy a home of their own. If you live in Kansas, the help you are seeking is available at Kansas HUD (Housing and Urban Development)
or from the Kansas Housing Resources programs.
These housing programs can help you to find an appropriate home and help you to pay the rent or even the bills. Utility bills can mount up to quite high levels, especially in extremes of weather, so to see if you qualify for help to pay them, have a look here:
Education can help you to find a better paid job, and it is essential for your kids to be able make their way in life. Paying for that education
The first thing to look at is FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
To find the school codes for FAFSA Kansas, follow this link:
There are many possible sources of funding for education in Kansas, and not all of them are immediately apparent. It’s a good idea to begin by looking at the Kansas Board of Regents (linked below) as there are a good number of suggestions there;
but it’s important to remember that there are lots and lots of other sources of funding for education. Multi national companies like Coca Cola have scholarship schemes in place, as do celebrities such as David Letterman and Bill Gates. Get on the internet and check it all out…you might find help coming from surprising places. Even the subject you want to study may attract sponsorship. If, for example, you want to go into a profession like nursing there is a strong chance that funding will be available. Individual colleges have their own sponsorship schemes too. If you have a job, see if your employer is prepared to part fund your education…if it will benefit him by making you a better employee, he just might!
Grants and scholarships are often offered to ethnic groups, to people suffering from some illnesses or disabilities, and to members of religious communities.
Not many single moms can afford to buy a car. You probably think this is out of the question unless you win the lotto. But, you may be surprised to hear that there is a scheme that takes donated cars and allocates them to single moms who are in need of transport, so before you give up on the idea of having your own car, check out the following link. There are no guarantees, but it’s worth a look! Do a web search for the donate car program offered by TANF.
Making friends with other single moms in your town or neighborhood can be another way to sort out the transport problems. A group of you could perhaps buy a car between you, and share the school runs and all the gas and maintenance costs. Or, perhaps you can exchange transport with the return of a service like babysitting…you never know what’s possible until you ask.
If you have been a victim of a violent relationship, having reliable transport is one way of making you feel safer and regaining self reliance. There is an organization that helps women in this situation, so if you have suffered from domestic violence and need help with transportation in Kansas, contact Wider Opportunities for Women on their Transport Resources for Survivors page.
Transportation isn’t so much of a problem if you live in a city. Cities in Kansas have good public transportation that runs at quite affordable costs, so the best thing you can do is find out how to get around on the buses.