The state of Maine is an amazing place to be if you love the great outdoors, the mountains, the skiing…it’s an exciting place to live. However, not everyone that lives in Maine has the money to make the most of the sports, the countryside, the culture and the gastronomy. Some of them, often single moms, are struggling just to survive. Even finding enough money to put decent food on the table can be a worry if you are a single parent getting by on a low income.
But, hang on! There is some good news. If you know where to find it, and how to apply, there is all sorts of help in the state of Maine for single mothers just like you. Whether it’s finding a house that’s worrying you, or paying education or child care costs, Maine might just have a program in place to help you out. Read on and find out!
The US has grants that can help single mothers get back on their feet and provide better for their families. Billions of dollars worth, in fact! The link below gives you more information:
Single moms who aren’t getting much money into the household could do worse than take a good look at the TANF program. TANF is Temporary Financial Assistance for Needy Families, and it is an excellent program. TANF aid does have a lifetime limit of 2 years, so watch how you use this valuable assistance, but it is definitely worth considering. TANF carries a work obligation in order to participate, so if you don’t already have a job you will have to participate in a work scheme.
Sometimes, single moms take out short term loans to tide them over a tough period. It sounds like a good idea, but be wary. Some short term loans might be helpful, but many are overpriced and charge a fortune in interest. They also often levy big fines if your payments are late. Short term loans have a place, but be careful you don’t take out the wrong one and make a bad situation worse! Look instead for grants and scholarships to help you out, as these are non repayable
All mothers want to feed their children on the best foods available. They know how important it is for kids to eat the right quantities of the right foods so they grow up strong and healthy. You want access to fresh, local produce, to fish, eggs and dairy products to put really nutritious meals on the table.
If you are living in Maine and worrying about how to buy food, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) the SNAP program could be for you. It’s a great scheme that gives you an electronic card you can use in participating stores to purchase food. You can even use it to buy vegetable seeds to plant at home if you have an outside space in which to grow your own!
The WIC program is another that’s worth checking out if you have recently given birth, or are pregnant. It’s also for those who have children under the age of 5. If you this is you, follow the link to find out how to apply for this:
Have you thought about using Maine’s Food Banks or Food pantries? If not, maybe you should! The Good Shepherd is a fantastic initiative that distributes fresh, local produce throughout the state to those families who just can’t afford to buy it for themselves.
Most single moms need to get a job and go to work at least part time in order to pay the bills and take care of their kids. Staying at home just isn’t an option. But, childcare is an expense to add to the list, and it’s one that can be hard to meet.
Single moms in Maine can access assistance to find quality childcare and to pay for it though a program known as the Maine Child care Subsidy program. This supplies eligible moms with vouchers that can be exchanged in payment of or part payment for child care services.
Maine has another scheme that can help you as well. It encourages employers to join a scheme offering extra financial help to employees so they can afford to pay for child care. If you are working in Maine, have a word with your employer and persuade him or her to join up!
You might also consider the following options. Make a point of getting to know other single parents in your neighborhood. Maybe you work different shifts from other single moms, so you can arrange childcare between you?
Another good idea is to ask around your town or area to see if a church, community association or other such group runs a crèche you might be able to use. These types of groups are usually cheaper than standard prices.
Mother’s worry about their children’s health. It’s in the job description! Kids can give us any number of health scares while they are growing up, and chances are you will have to make some unplanned visits to the doctor, dentist or A and E department of your local hospital at some stage. Of course, hopefully these illnesses and accidents will be minor, but if your child falls seriously ill, or has a disability, you really need help.
If you have a very low income, and qualify for Medicaid (also known as Maine Care), you should find most of your medical needs and those of your children will be covered.
If, you don’t qualify for Medicaid, there are other possibilities. Dirigo Health is a subsidized healthcare insurance program for those with lower incomes who find normal plans too expensive.
Every family should have a safe, decent place to live in and to call home. If you’re a single mother you need this more than ever. In Maine, the first resource to think of is the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) program, which helps get people onto the housing ladder and to buy their own home. HUD can also arrange help with rent payment and in finding suitable accommodations. However, HUD can become oversubscribed, so there is another place to turn for help if this is the case. The second option is the Maine Bridging Rental Assistance Program. Both links are given below.
Once you have a home, your next problem is probably going to be how to pay the utility bills. Main can get pretty cold in the winter, but you don’t want your kids living in a cold house. Don’t worry; there is the LIHEAP scheme to help.
So, we come to education. Yes, it’s another potentially massive expense that you can’t avoid. Or, can you?
Whether it is you or you child who is going to college, chances are that you will be able to find a scholarship, grant or at the very least, a reasonably termed loan that will help pay the costs.
The first thing to do is to see if you are eligible for FAFSA. This is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Below is a link that gives you the school codes for Maine, and the information on how to apply
Schools and colleges usually also offer have their own scholarships and grants to their students. Find what’s offered by the school or college you are interested in. Check out the subject or course you want to do too, because certain subjects and professional courses like nursing can attract their own sponsorship.
If you or your kids have a disability or illness, search the internet to see if there is any specific assistance available associated with the condition. There are a lot of special needs awards made across the US every year. Sometimes even churches or religious groups offer scholarships to their members, as do some employers. Never be afraid to ask!
Among other ideas, remember that some large companies offer scholarships in their names as do some celebrities. One of the best known celebrity schemes is the David Letterman scholarship, and there are many more to be found when you search the internet.
If you don’t live in a city or large town, a car may be something you badly need. However, it can also be yet another thing you think you can’t have, as they are expensive to buy and run. Well, it’s just possible that you can have a car after all. There is a great scheme that allocates donated cars to needy people. You never know your luck, so check it out.
Single moms who live in Maine’s big towns and cities should find that public transport answers most of their transportation needs, and at a reasonable cost.
Hopefully, among the links given above there will have been enough help for you!